Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band shine brightly at State Theatre - REVIEW
Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 10:43 PM Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 11:29 PM
Starr and His All Starr Band — which included rock veteran Todd Rundgren and Toto axe man Steve Lukather on guitar, Santana keyboardist/organist Gregg Rolie and bassist Richard Page, of Mr. Mister —brought their tour to the State Theatre.
Starr let the rest of his band file out first before coming from the side of the stage to a nearly deafening roar and applause from the crowd, taking the stage flashing peace signs on both hands.
Remarking on his fourth visit to the theater — he performed at State in 2010, 2006 and 2003 — Starr joked, "The world stood still. And then Ringo came to town."
Starr's wry sense of humor was prevalent as he kept the energy up, joking between songs and responding "And I love you, too" to the continuous shrieks of "I love you" from the crowd.
"Love is love, you know," Starr said, later quipping, "I always love it when it's a deep voice."The drummer's set blended songs from his solo career —including his 1971 hit "It Don't Come Easy" and the song "I'm the Greatest," which was written for Starr by former bandmate John Lennon — and Starr's "other" band, The Beatles ("Don't Pass Me By" and the Fab Four's rendition of The Shirelles' "Boys").
Starr also sprinkled in tunes off his 2012 release, the aptly named "Ringo 2012." This included the upbeat "Wings" and "Anthem."
With a plethora of talented — and well rehearsed — musicians surrounding him, Starr made sure to let his musical companions have their turns in the spotlight.
The band, sans Starr, who exited the stage, stirred up the crowd with an extended and impressive spin through Santana's "Black Magic Woman." It was the first of two Santana representations, following an earlier take on "Oye Coma Va."
Rundgren, sporting lime green pants and frequently banging away on a sea foam green Fender Telecaster, also had an opportunity to flex his muscles. He led the band, and the crowd, through the rock classic, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."
Later in the night, Rundgren put down his guitar, grabbed a pair of drum sticks and jumped in front of two tympani drums for a raucous, sweltering rendition of "Bang the Drum All Day," with Starr smiling from ear to ear as he kept a steady beat perched behind his drum kit.
Starr spent most of the time on stage not as the house drummer, but as the front-man; dancing and swaying along to the music. Nearly every song ended with many, if not most, of those in attendance on their feet.
One of the biggest thrills of the night came when Starr led the crowd through a sing-a-long of The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine." During the song, one fan held up what appeared to be a cardboard submarine, bopping it along to the music.
Starr made sure to share the love, which was reciprocated by the rest of those on stage.
"You can't imagine the what it's like to be on stage with the heartbeat of our generation," Rundgren said.Lukather stood out among the All Starrs, laying down a blistering, frenzied solo during "Oye Coma Va."
Starr and Co. closed out the night with arguably his most popular Fab Four vocal contribution, "With A Little Help From My Friends," and Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance."
It was clear throughout the night that Starr was having fun on stage — looking less like a 71-year-old pop icon, and more like an exuberant teenager discovering the power and joy of rock 'n' roll for the very first time.