Event – Ringo Starr @ Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – 7/21/12

Poppinoff May 15th, 2012 | By
Category: Greek Theater, The, Los Angeles Events, Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr @ Greek Theatre

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr – 7:30pm
Greek Theatre
2700 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Tickets: $40 -$100
All ages

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One Comment to “Event – Ringo Starr @ Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – 7/21/12”

  1. gj nagy says:

    Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, Live Review of the final U.S. show at the Greek Theatre in L.A. 07.21.12.

    August 16th will mark the 50th anniversary of Ringo Starr joining the Beatles, although he probably won’t be doing much to celebrate. “It was a wonderful time,” he was quoted, “but it was so long ago. I’m doing this now.” “This” is the 13th incarnation of Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, which wrapped up its five-week U.S. tour Saturday at the Greek Theatre, and I was lucky enough to catch the show. I’d never seen him, and was curious to find out if he still had the stamina to make it through a full set, and being their were no openers, I’d hoped we’d be in for a long evening-given the amount of hits between the artists.

    I’m really going to try to get through this review without using the lazy, tired, and painfully obvious cliche of mentioning how he “got by with a little help from his friends,” yuk, yuk.

    The second you see Ringo, you immediately get the feeling you want to pinch yourself. It was the same when I initially saw Paul McCartney. You can’t believe after all these years, you’re in the midst of honest-to-gosh Rock royalty! The ever-charming Mr. Starr who turned 72(!) on the 7th, was joined by some amazing musicians including Gregg Bissonette on drums, saxophonist-percussionist Mark Rivera, Todd Rundgren, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, keyboardist-singer Gregg Rolie, formerly of Santana & Journey, (the latter who were ironically playing a casino just outside L.A. this night) and Mr. Mister singer-songwriter-bassist Richard Page. The roster was a little light compared to previous R.S.a.h.A.S.B. tours, but the audience was in store for a decent set of crowd pleasers regardless.

    “I still love to play,” he told one interviewer. “I go down the front and sing ‘Photograph’ or whatever, then I get to be back to the drums and play with all these other musicians. It’s a win-win situation. I get the chance to be both the entertainer and the musician. Everyone’s a star, but I’m the big star.”

    It’s on these tours that Starr gets to literally play “musical chairs,” jumping from the drum stool where he supplies a second beat for his buddies’ T-40 tunes, to the lead singer’s mic where he belts out a few choice covers and hits of his own. The resulting set being a bargain for fans of classic Rock/Pop artists who generally have less than 5 big hits-many of which we like-but not enough to shell out for a full concert, and fans of Ringo’s better known work. It’s a 50-50 proposition: 50% Beatle/Ringo classics, and 50% All-Starr hits. Starr looked, sounded, and performed like a man much younger than his age. His being ”clean” and a healthy diet must be to blame. (Like Macca, he’s a devout vegetarian.)

    Opening with the less than satisfying Beatles cover “Matchbox,” he got down to business with a rousing, George Harrison-penned “It Don’t Come Easy.” Introducing “Wings,” a track from his latest CD “Ringo 2012,” he addressed some major changes in the industry since he used to load his own drums in the lad’s van. Ringo asked the crowd if anyone knew he’d released the disc, then humorously added, “I’d like to thank the five of you who bought it, the seven of you who downloaded it, and the three of you who bought the vinyl!” The droll humor of the world’s most famous drummer was very much appreciated, and we ate it up.

    Rundgren who appeared to be playing second banana to the Fab One, was dressed in some kind of white suit that seemed to have had splotches of bright paint on it. He sang his two best known songs, “I Saw the Light” and “Bang the Drum,” as well as “Love Is the Answer.” When I heard he was on board, I was hoping he’d play the much more interesting Utopia songs “Hammer In My Heart,” & “Princess Of The Universe.” instead of the last two but alas…

    Dressed more conventionally, Rolie provided some Latin-tinged FM classics from his time in Santana while tinkling the keys of his Hammond B3 organ. The smooth, seductive sounds of voodoo Rock permeated the evening almost as prominently as the pot smoke that began to sift through the air as the band played “Evil Ways” the raucous “Everybody’s Everything” & Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman.” The latter song giving the group a chance to stretch out their musical muscles, as well as “the funny one,” to take a break backstage. In particular, Bissonette and Lukather showed why they “got the gig,” with David Lee Roth’s ex-stickman pounding the skins as if it’s the last time he’ll be playing that song, (oh yeah, it is-tour’s over). He sounded like he was auditioning for his next gig as Santana’s drummer-and proved he could easily fill that position with a short, tasteful drum solo near the song’s end. Lukather (looking somewhat like Rolie’s younger brother due to the dueling goatees) was firing off dozens of notes for every one Santana originally played, riffing like his life depended on it, he was the show’s hometown boy who done good, furiously milking his axe for all it was worth to the delight of fellow Angelenos who appreciatively punctured the night sky with chants of “LUUUUUUKE” twice during the show.

    Soon came Page’s turn at the mic for the Mr. Mister hits, “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings,” or as I-and apparently many others referred to the pair: ‘the bathroom break songs. Lukather then took over to deliver strong versions of Toto’s “Rosanna” and “Hold the Line,” albeit with vocal assists from Page and Rivera due to his limited singing range. Steve was feeling a little verklempt and maybe nostalgic as he exclaimed how Ringo was one of his earliest and biggest influences. The grateful guitarist gave a heartfelt thank you to the man he called “boss.”

    Feeling itchy to get back to singing, Ringo sprang “Don’t Pass Me By” on us. The tune from the ‘White Album,’ (arguably) the Beatles’ best release, had the ring leader banging away on the keyboards before landing upstage. Starr’s winning sense of humor caused him to blurt out afterward: “When I wrote those words-’You were in a car crash, and you lost your hair,’ I thought, ‘Watch out, Lennon and McCartney!’ ”

    Other than “Octopus’s Garden” and “Goodnight,” they pretty much got in all of Ringo’s Beatle-era tracks from “I Wanna Be Your Man,” to “Yellow Submarine,” to “With a Little Help From My Friends.” They also included some more Beatles covers like “Act Naturally,” and “Boys” as well as the early solo hit Lennon wrote especially for him, the excellent “I Am The Greatest.” Perhaps the non-Beatle song highlight came when Joe Walsh ambled onstage to get his ups at bat to rock the crowd with “Rocky Mountain Way,” which turns 40 next year-and yes-he brought the talk box…

    It most literally was a ‘starr-studded’ night as the show closers “With A Little Help/Give Peace A Chance featured backups by Jack Bruce, Peter Frampton, Walsh, Edgar Winter, Gary Wright-all former All-Starrs, as well as Mickey Dolenz, Jeff Lynne, Jim Keltner, Matt Sorum, Keith Allison, and actor Bud Cort….
    Oh, and somehow, Corey Feldman was let onstage for some bizarre reason. Unfortunately, my hopes of getting a 150+ minute show were dashed when the clock ran out at about 2:07. Hell, we didn’t even get a single encore!

    Ringo recently said: “I’d like to be remembered for trying to spread peace and love around the world.”
    He definitely did on this typical, warm and perfect L.A. Summer’s eve…

    Missed opporTUNEites: other than “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Photograph,” “I Am The Greatest” and the two big Beatle tunes, I would have traded any of the other songs for “Back Off Boogaloo,” “King Of Broken Hearts,” “Never Without You,” (written for Harrison) “No No Song,” and “Oh My My.” It would have made the difference between a great show and an unbelievable one!

    Oh, and a splendid time was had by all…. Well, I only promised I wouldn’t use the most obvious cliche… ;)

    Check out my site for video highlight links!

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