At 74 years young, Ringo Starr is still quite an attraction. Even though he was often thought of as the least popular Beatle, he can pack the house.
I was in Bend visiting my friends Diane and Steve and they purchased tickets for all of us to see Ringo with his “All-Starr” band at their only Oregon appearance. Yes, he was the star, but in his charismatic way he showcased the talents of his bandmates – all of whom are stars in their own right.
He began with a couple of his standards like “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Honey Don’t” which really got the crowd going. Then he introduced each of the band members and stood back while they played their hits. Todd Rundgren doing “I Saw The Light” and “Bang The Drum All Day” got the party started. Then Steve Lukather of Toto displayed his incredible guitar riffs on “Africa” and “Rosanna”. Next came Gregg Rolie, former keyboard player and lead singer with Santana belting out “Evil Ways”, “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va”.
Up next was Richard Page, bassist and lead singer for Mr. Mister – even though they had only a couple of recognizable hits (“Kyrie” and “Broken Wings”) his fantastic voice was probably the highlight of the evening for me. (Note: I had heard when Peter Cetera left Chicago they tried to get Richard to replace him as lead singer – but they could not come to an agreement. Too bad.)
Rounding out the band was Gregg Bissonette (probably the best drummer you’ve never heard of – read his amazing bio) and saxophonist/keyboardist Warren Ham.
This iteration of the All-Starr Band has been together for several tours and it was evident they really enjoyed themselves and the beautiful Bend weather. But they clearly revere he who is Ringo – paying homage continually throughout the show. It’s an ingenious concept – the aging rocker and the musicians he surrounds himself with get to further their careers. And the audience gets a “five for the price of one” concert experience. A winning formula indeed!