Show Review: Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band 21.02.12

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 28.02.13 | Issue # 327



21 February, 2013

With the title track off their new CD, Offering, closing a short but sweet 15-minute set, Melbourne’s Mojo Jacket had proven their place opening for one of the world’s most iconic rock legends.

As the last of the punters squinted through darkness at a sea of numbers and letters to find their seats, Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band surfaced with a mission to prepare the audience for the arrival of their “boss”, before the man of the hour strolled out from stage left, throwing the peace sign in every direction to the intro of The Beatles’ Matchbox.

If you wanted to define the term ‘supergroup’, The All-Starr Band would be the right place to start. Featuring Toto’s Steve Lukather on guitar, Gregg Rolie on keys (Journey, Santana), Mr. Mister’s Richard Page on bass and mind-blowing vocals, amongst others, Starr had assembled a backing band so powerful that he ran the risk of falling into the shadows, and when he took his rightful throne behind the drum kit and let the others take the spotlight, it wasn’t long before his presence drifted off into the background.

While Starr was most engaging upfront, dancing in a manor that can only be described as a casual jive, watching him behind the kit, in his element, was surreal, and for many longtime fans, would have transported them back to their youth.

Although he gave out the clichéd “greatest audience ever” spiel, and while someone of his stature may go into auto-pilot after so many nights onstage, he was truly in the moment and there to have fun.

Toto’s Africa and Mr. Mister’s Kyrie went down smoothly and were executed better than ever, but it was unsurprisingly The Beatles songs, particularly Yellow Submarine, that won the audience over. What was surprising, though, was not once did Starr mutter the band’s name or talk about them. Introducing Yellow Submarine, he simply joked, “I’m not going to tell you the name of this song, because if you don’t know what it is, you’re at the wrong show.”

Starr isn’t the most talented member of The Beatles, and doesn’t put on a life-changing performance, but is a crucial part of music history, and after two hours darting between the drums and microphone, his formidable legacy was clear.

Written by Daniel Cribb