||Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band wrapped up their 2017 tour at the NJ Performing Arts Center in Newark, the Garden State’s absolute-hands-down-best concert hall. Indeed, Ringo and several of the band members commented from the stage throughout the show on the beauty of the place, but there wasn´t a peep about the new CD, something that´s been like a gaping hole throughout the tour.
Though the performance was terrific, there were no surprise guests as has been pretty common in NY/NJ area shows the troupe has logged over the years. Nor were there any set-list additions or surprises, and the only appearance of a song from "Give More Love" was back in October, when the title track was played at the initial shows during the Las Vegas run.
That being said, it was a solid show as we’ve come to expect (Todd Rundgren muffing the words to “Bang the Drum”, notwithstanding). The band was super tight, the harmonies SPOT-ON, and Ringo’s drumming & vocals were in top-form. Guitarist Steve Lukather was other-worldly. They went out on a high note.
Or did they?
I´m not sure they’re “going” anywhere. Ringo LOVES this band. It´s the sixth straight year they’ve been on the road. That’s an unprecedented stretch for Ringo, not just in terms of longevity, but in keeping the same typically-rotating All Starr cast static as well, with the exception of multi-instrumentalist Mark Rivera, who was replaced by Warren Ham a couple of years into the run as Mark was summoned to duty for his longtime OTHER boss, Billy Joel. Rivera remains the Musical Director of the ensemble and rehearses the band before the tour starts.
To put it in perspective that six years running number, picture this: Ringo toured with The Beatles from the time he joined in August of 1962, through to their last live concert four years later in 1966. Do that math….and bear in mind he was so much younger than today..
Topping off his recent NY area visit, Ringo stopped by the studios of Sirius XM to record a Town Hall special, which will be broadcast December 1 @ 5pm ET. Be sure to listen or download the APP and hear it as a podcast later.
Maybe one day Ringo will write a book on the All Starr Band answering all the questions we have
Photo Bob Gannon
Peace & love –