“It is easy to see why Ringo Starr loves his current lineup of the All Starr Band,” Patti Murawski said. “They have such a familiar ease with each other, mesh together well musically, and from all appearances, genuinely like each other, which makes for one spectacular evening of entertainment.”
Murawski saw two back-to-back shows on the recent tour at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut on October 24, 2015, and the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey the following day. She provided the exclusive pictures on this page. She said the set list changed little from the opening tour show in San Francisco earlier in the month, with the exception of the absence of “Anthem” in the second half after “I am the Greatest.”
“Ringo does himself a disservice not including at least one of his other solo songs that he has performed in the past,” she said. In the past, she noted he has performed “Memphis in Your Mind”, “Don’t Go Where the Road Don’t Go”, “Never Without You” and “Give Me Back the Beat.” “But,” she said, “the show was one amazing performance after another on both nights. As far as the audience goes, I would, have to give a slight edge to the crowd in New Brunswick (because) the casino crowd being a bit more laid back.”
As usual, Ringo was a bundle of energy. “Ringo showed no sign of slowing down,” she said. “He is a joy to watch, so enthusiastic, obviously loving what he does both down in front or up on the kit. And he was in a good mood both nights, and was engaged with the audience,” she said. “In Connecticut he spotted a young woman standing at the edge of the stage trying to take a selfie on her phone with him in the background up on the kit. I watched as he purposely positioned himself, leaning over to one side to make sure he was looking at her phone and that he would be in her photo. At the New Jersey show, he hugged and kissed two different women who presented themselves at the edge of the stage, one of them gifting him with a bouquet.”
Both he and the band showed no signs of wear as they were entering the last week of the tour. “One standout from the two nights was Richard Page’s performance of ‘Broken Wings’ at the New Jersey show. When he hit that sustained high note near the end of the song it felt like he would blow the roof off the theatre. There was a collective ‘wow’ the audience whooping and applauding; it was astounding!,” she said.
On both nights near the end of the show, she said the audience was allowed to leave their seats and come to the edge of the stage and fill the aisles. “This was, in fact, encouraged at Foxwoods. When being seated by the usher in the front section, I was shown a set list and told, ‘the first five rows are allowed to come right up to the stage after this song’ (he pointed to ‘Hold the Line’). When Steve Lukather started the song, the security detail picked up their chairs from their positions in the aisle at the front row and moved back several rows and everyone in the front seats bolted for the edge of the stage.”
There was also a special guest at the Connecticut show. “All Starr alum Simon Kirke walked on and took a seat at Ringo’s kit for ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’ and ‘Give Peace a Chance.’” There were no walk-ons in New Jersey, but afterwards a photo of Ringo and Bruce Springsteen visiting backstage was posted on Instagram. It wasn’t known whether Springsteen had seen the show from somewhere in the house, she said.
Set list: “Matchbox,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Island in the Sun,” “I Saw the Light” (Todd Rundgren), “Evil Ways” (Gregg Rolie), “Rosanna” (Steve Lukather), “Kyrie” (Richard Page), “Bang the Drum All Day” (Rundgren), “Boys,” “Don’t Pass Me By,” “Yellow Submarine,,” “Black Magic Woman”/“Gypsy Queen” (Rolie), “You’re Sixteen,” “I’m the Greatest,” ““You Are Mine” (Page), “Africa” (Lukather), “Oye Como Va” (Rolie), “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Love Is the Answer” (Rundgren), “Broken Wings” (Page), “Hold the Line” (Lukather), “Photograph,” “Act Naturally,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Give Peace a Chance.”