Ringo Starr is a legend all over the world. As a member of the greatest band of all time, The Beatles, Ringo along with the Fab Four has broken records and hearts for over five decades. Arguably the most famous drummer in this or any hemisphere, Ringo is once again on our shores in beautiful South Florida. This evening is the first night of a two day stop at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. This year celebrates The Beatles 50th Anniversary of their groundbreaking LP, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” proclaimed by many critics as the greatest rock album of all time, Ringo takes the stage with an astounding array of rock royalty of his own.
Always the consummate showman, Ringo is, well Ringo. He is personably, friendly, and lighthearted as he flashes his infamous peace sign, yelling “Peace and love,” at every available moment. First and foremost he is a drummer, and a darn good one to boot. His unmistakable demeanor has basically remain unchanged over these many years; laid back, go-with-the-flow, a hippie at heart. Ringo, though not known specifically as a front-man, certainly holds his own when taking center stage singing audience favorites. Beatles songs as well as his own solo work have stood the test of time ultimately proving a good song will always be a good song. During a good portion of the show Ringo looks the most comfortable behind his celebrated drums, backing his famous bandmates. This year’s touring All-Starr band is once again the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to rock music. This particular ensemble of the All-Starr band has been together touring for seven years. Their chemistry on stage is in full display during the course of the show. The 2017 line-up includes, Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey), Warren Ham, and Gregg Bissonette.
Musical highlights from the band include Todd Rundgren’s I Saw The Light, Bang The Drum All Day (which had the entire audience on their feet), and Love Is The Answer; Mr. Mister’s Kyrie (was a great crowd participation moment especially during the last chorus of the song) and Broken Wings; Toto’s Rosanna, and Africa; Santan’s Evil Ways, Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen and Oye como va shown the spotlight on Steve Lukather’s fiery spirited guitar solos enlisting the entire audience to get up and dance; while cover Matchbox was a great opener.
The audience this first night of a two night stand here at the Parker Playhouse spanned all generations and Starr’s appeal. Ranging from eight to eighty and beyond, it’s certain there were some diehard Beatles fans in the audience who may have possibly seen the “boys” live way back when. My favorite moments of the evening were when Ringo took center stage to perform all his hits. His solo work It Don’t Come Easy (one of my favorites), You’re Sixteen, which Ringo dedicated to us, “this if for all the young girls and the young at heart.”, Back Off Boogaloo and Photograph are like slipping on a pair of comfortable shoes. No matter how many times I hear these songs they feel like visiting an old friend especially when seeing Ringo perform them live. Obviously the crowd’s fever pitch came when the arsenal of Beatles standards roared through the hall. Don’t Pass Me By, Yellow Submarine, I Wanna Be Your Man, and the infectious, With A Little Help from My Friends (with Give Peace A Chance chorus at the end) were major Starr and audience bonding moments. Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band is always a treat to see live in concert. It’s the best rock music has to offer all in one nicely wrapped package. Peace and love, Ringo. Until we meet again.