After Various Attempts, The Starrs Were Finally Aligned at The Beacon

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band shine at New York City’s renowned performance venue

I finally got to see Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Tuesday night at New York City’s storied Beacon Theatre. While as a huge Beatles fan I can’t quite explain why this didn’t happen years ago, I know one thing for sure: The night turned out to be a great memorable experience that was worth the wait!

At the beginning of the concert, which kicked off shortly after 8:00 p.m. with no opening act, Ringo noted that after various previously cancelled attempts he was glad to be back on the road. Based on the vibe he projected throughout the gig, those were honest words from a close to 82-year-old artist who still loves to perform.

The Beacon Theatre framed by construction scaffolding. And, nope, that black Mercedes wasn’t Ringo’s limousine.

One sad note: All Starr member Edgar Winter was absent. Ringo explained he had come down with COVID. Since his keyboards had been set up, I assume Winter literally must have found out just hours before the gig. But as professional musicians do, they decided the show must go on. Not only do I join Ringo who wished Winter the best, but I also hope nobody else from the band and the supporting staff got infected and the long postponed tour can go on.

Another bit of a bummer: I didn’t capture any video. You can thank the Beacon Theatre’s usher police. I’ve rarely seen ushers constantly pacing back and forth and telling people not to take photos or videos. Granted these are the official rules but, come on, regular concert visitors snapping some photos or taking some video aren’t doing this for profit.

Yes, there is a smile behind that bloody mask!

Well, other than taking a couple of pictures, I didn’t want to become a troublemaker, especially when the performer’s key motto is ‘peace and love’. Instead, I’m relying on YouTube videos captured by some other terrible violators! None of the clips was captured Tuesday night, but they are all from the current tour and feature Edgar Winter. And while he was defintely missed, the group did a great job without him.

Speaking of the All Starr Band beyond Ringo, each member had moments when they truly shined. The first two I’d like to call out are saxophonist Warren Ham, who also played flute and harmonica and sang vocals. Then there was British guitarist and bassist Hamish Stuart, a co-founder of Scottish funk and R&B group Average White Band, aka AWB. Check out their and and the band’s great rendition of AWB’s Pick Up the Pieces, off their 1974 eponymous sophomore album. And, yep, that’s Steve Lukather on bass, who occassionally traded the instrument with Stuart.

Colin Hay, best known as songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist of Aussie band Men At Work, stood out on vocals, still sounding like business as usual in the ’80s, especially on Men At Work songs. Here’s Overkill, a tune from the band’s sophomore album Cargo, released in April 1993. Check out Hay hitting high notes at around 3 minutes. Hay also perfectly nailed the high notes on Toto’s Africa, a vocal highlight of the night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a clip that did the performance full justice.

Steve Lukather was great on guitar. Here here’s rocking out on Hold the Line, Toto’s debut single from October 1978, which gave them a big hit from the get-go. When anouncing the tune on Tuesday night, Lukather said he was 19 years old when Toto recorded that tune, adding in a few months he’s turning 65. I’ve always loved that song!

So where the heck is Ringo in all of this, you may wonder. Well, to begin with, he shared drumming responsibilities with Gregg Bissonette, and they both looked like they were having fun behind their kits. And then, of course, he also did some singing. Here’s Photograph, co-written by him and George Harrison, and first released in September 1973 as the lead single of Ringo’s eponymous third studio album that came out in November that year.

Following is the setlist from Tuesday night:
• Matchbox (Carl Perkins cover)
• It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo Starr song)
• What Goes On (Beatles cover)
• Rosanna (Toto cover feat. Steve Lukather)
• Pick Up the Pieces (AWB cover feat. Hamish Stuart)
• Down Under (Men At Work cover feat. Colin Hay)
• Boys (Shirelles cover feat. Ringo Starr)
• I’m The Greatest (Ringo Starr song)
• Yellow Submarine (Beatles cover feat. Ringo Starr)
• Cut the Cake (WAB cover feat. Hamish Stuart)
• Octupus’s Garden (Beatles cover feat. Ringo Starr)
• Back Off Boogaloo (Ringo Starr song)
• Overkill (Men At Work cover feat. Colin Hay)
• Africa (Toto cover feat. Steve Lukather)
• Work to Do (Isley Brothers cover feat. Hamish Stuart)
• I Wanna Be Your Man (Beatles cover feat. Ringo Starr)
• Who Can It Be Now? (Men At Work cover feat. Colin Hay)
• Hold the Line (Toto cover feat. Steve Lukather)
• Photograph (Ringo Starr song)
• Act Naturally (Johnny Russell cover feat. Ringo Starr)
• With a Little Help From My Friends/Give Peace A Chance (Beatles cover feat. Ringo; John Lennon cover)

Tuesday night’s gig was the second of three dates Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band did at the Beacon Theatre. Tomorrow night, they play Count Basie Theater, a great venue in Red Bank, N.J., before moving on to State Theater in Easton, Penn. (June 11) and Providenc PAC in Providence, R.I. (June 12). The current leg of the North American tour wraps up in Clearwater, Fla. on June 26. Part 2 starts in Bridgeport, Conn. on September 23. The full current schedule is here. If you haven’t seen Ringo yet and like his music and the All Starr Band concept, I can highly recommend the show!

Sources: Wikipedia; Setlist.fm; Ringo Starr website; YouTube

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35 thoughts on “After Various Attempts, The Starrs Were Finally Aligned at The Beacon”

    1. Thanks! In addition to performing Ringo solo songs and covers of Beatles tunes he sang, the idea of The All-Starr Band has always been to feature each of their prominent members singing 3 of their songs.

      I think this concept says a lot about Ringo’s character and why he’s such a great band mate. It’s all about the music, not about him.

      Ringo had as much fun backing other members of The All Starr Band on drums as he had singing his own solo tunes or Beatles songs.

      He may not be the greatest vocalist, which I’m sure he knows, but he certainly is a great band leader!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great that you finally made a concert to Ringo Starr. I don’t understand the strictly rules not to make photos and/or videos. But on the opposite: Since we have the black flat cellphones it often happens that I cannot enjoy watching a live gig because I see all the hands with their phones up.

    Do you know that your eyes can smile, too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’m happy it finally happened. That gig had been rescheduled twice due to you know what. If I recall it correctly, initially, it was supposed to be in 2019.

      I think you’re making a fair point that use of cell phones to take pictures can also be disruptive, especially when you have many people do it at the same time and in a way that it blocks your vision.

      I always try to be respectful of other concert visitors by not holding my phone high above my head. Depending on the seating, the trade-off is having heads of the people in front of in your clips but that’s okay.

      I also understand ushers intervening when somebody is filming the entire concert or filming at excessive lengths. I realize this comes down to judgement. Undoubtedly, the easiest way to handle the situation is not to allow any filming at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christian, I’m sure that we are thinking the same. I also like to take pictures during a show but I always try not to disturb another visitors (or the artists on the stage when I was in front).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That sounds great. You and I have chatted before about going to a Ringo show. I have always been ambivalent. As you know he was just here in Boston and got a degree from Berklee. Other than the video police, what did you think of he Beacon? Was it you who hadn’t been there before or am I thinking of someone else?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jim. The Beacon is a beautiful venue. It was actually my second time there after Steely Dan in October 2018.

      What you may recalled and perhaps have mixed up is that I previously shared I never had seen the Allmans at the Beacon. That’s something I regret to this day!

      Like

      1. Right, that was it. Well, look. If I had a buck for every “bands I should have” seen I’d be well off. Hendrix, Lennon, Joplin- all alive and well when I was in NYC. Also, my friends and I were originally going to go to the Fillmore to see the Allmans on what would become “At Fillmore East.” Failing that, why didn’t we see them on the last night of Fillmore? Zep? Nope. Now, I did see the original Allmans and then a million times after that. But the rest of them? Not so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a good way to put it. In any case, I can no longer change the past, so whining about it is pretty pointless! Plus, going forward I’ll have to continue to be selective who to see. This may be unfortunate, but it’s the reality!

        Like

      3. Yeah, the money definitely is a huge part of it. At a certain point, it also becomes a time factor and testing the patience of my family who already complains I spend too much time with music!

        Like

  3. I’m so glad it finally happened! I went to a Dylan concert where the ushers were strict as hell about taking a picture. Dylan had lights where there was no way you could get a clear picture. I’m glad you enjoyed it dude.
    Ringo gives you a great bargain for the money.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He puts his heart into his singing…his voice is different…he does a great note at the end of With A Little Help…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ringo is a great entertainer who loves to perform with other top-notch musicians. And he just comes across as a nice guy you’d like to hang out with.

        And, as I noted in the post, pretty much all of the All-Starr Band members had their great moments. I was really impressed with Warren Ham, a true multi-talent. I’m also not very familiar with AWB and really liked tunes Hamish Stuart performed – groovy stuff! Steve Lukather and Colin Hay were great as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. He really does…it was cool to go to a concert that wasn’t Paul M…that you knew every song that was played….or almost every song.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. glad you got to see him! His All Starr Band shows always did seem like they’d be very good , I love the way he lets each guest play a song or two of their own. I wonder what songs Winter would have contributed normally? I never tried taping any concerts but found that back in the 90s or early-2000s , in smaller venues I could usually get away with taking in a small point and shoot camera loaded with fast (ISO 3200) film. The artists and security never seemed to mind me because I’d shoot with available light (which looks better anyway, captures the sense of the event). I think it was the constant flashing of people popping off with their tiny camera’s on board flash (which only work to about 10 feet anyway) that caused irritation. Of course, that said, I bet some of the larger acts would not have put up with any photos because it could cut into their revenue in sales of stills and posters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a fun event and I’m really happy I was there! Based on earlier set lists recorded on Setlist.fm, Edgar Winter would have performed Free Ride, Frankenstein and Johnny B. Goode. They simply skipped “his” tunes. It was still a decent length show of about an hour and 45 minutes or so.

      Flash photography definitely is annoying and disruptive, and I completely agree it should not be allowed. Plus, to your point, it doesn’t even make sense, since a camera flash has virtually no impact, especially in a bigger venue!

      Like

    1. Funny you should mention it, Jim. For some reason, it slipped by me. But I was looking at Setlist.fm today and saw his two recent Boston shows already happened and was actually wondering what you thought about “your” gig. Heading over to your site now! 🙂

      Like

    1. Yep, I saw it this morning and already shared with Max in comment to the lastest post on his blog. Isn’t that crazy?

      As I had noted in my concert post, Ringo told the crowd Edgar Winter couldn’t be there since he had come down with COVID. His keyboards has all been set up. Now, it’s Lukather!

      Like

      1. Keeping fingers crossed. I’ll tell you one thing. I’ll continue wearing my N95, including during outdoor gigs. Of course, even with that and being fully vaccinated and boosted, I realize there’s no 100% protection. But I’ll do what I can and don’t care if other people think I’m overly cautious!

        Like

  5. Sounds like it was a fantastic show, and a special treat to see/hear the other great musicians on the bill. Ringo looks so youthful and cool performing and playing drums, making it all look so effortless. He’s 15 years older than me, but seems not to suffer from any visible signs of arthritis like I already do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was just incredible – full of energy and positive vibes!

      Unfortunately, Edgar Winter had come down with COVID and now also Steve Lukather!

      They just announced they are rescheduling the tour’s remaining dates of the current leg until September, basically combining them with leg 2.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. That show had been rescheduled twice. The third time was the charm!

        I feel bad for folks who were in the same boat and now have to wait yet another time. But with two men down, obviously, it wouldn’t make any sense to continue. At least September isn’t next year…

        Liked by 1 person

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