Friday, November 10, 2017

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band Gives More Love to Dallas, TX [Concert Review]

The first time I remember ever hearing rock music was when I was at my Aunt Diane's house in Ottawa, IL. We were helping her move and I wandered off into one of the rooms. I was probably five years old. In this room sat a record player and some albums stacked by it.

If I remember correctly, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles was the first album to catch my eye. It would make sense, considering the colorfully exquisite cover artwork. I pulled the record out of it's sleeve and put it on the turntable. From that moment, my life was changed. What I heard coming from the speakers immediately caught my fancy and I remain convinced to this day that The Beatles are the greatest rock and roll band to walk the Earth and anyone who came after them owes them a debt of gratitude.

When I heard Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band was heading to the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, I knew I needed to be in attendance. I mean, we're talking about one quarter of the single greatest rock and roll acts of the 20th century. He's a Beatle!

I've had opportunities to see Ringo in the past, but never did. I think in my old age, I'm beginning to realize that I have a bucket list of artists I know I need to see before it's too late. Not saying that I think Starr is going anywhere soon, but I want to get to experience these legends in person. I was too young to see John Lennon and never got around to taking in a George Harrison concert. I wasn't going to miss the opportunity again.

Going into the concert, I was expecting to hear a barrage of Beatles songs mixed with decades of Ringo's most popular cuts. He'd probably pepper in a couple of tracks off his new album, "Give More Love," to promote it. What I got was a whole different experience that magnified the sort of humble man Starr is by allowing his All-Starr Band, made up of members who are all musical veterans and legends in their own right, a chance in the spotlight.

The show began with Ringo coming out and immediately firing off a few of The Beatles and his own tunes. He then introduced guitarist Todd Rundgren, who fired into one of his own songs, "I saw the Light." Next, Santana and Journey keyboardist Gregg Rolie took over for a rendition of "Evil Ways." The crowd was then acquainted with Toto's guitarist Steve Lukather as he plucked the first notes of the hit "Rosanna."

Finally, Steve directed everyone's attention to Mr. Mister bassist Richard Page, who led the audience into "Kyrie." This trade-off went on for the entire concert. All the time, Warren Ham of Kansas handled vocals, saxophone, harmonica, flute, percussion, and keyboards. Drummer Gregg Bissonette, known for stints with David Lee Roth, The Bee Gees, and Spinal Tap, pounded away next to Ringo as they partnered together to keep the beat throughout the night.

Ringo interacted with the crowd the entire night, shaking hands with people in the front row and talking to the audience. When someone shouted they loved him, he would shout back, "I love you, too!" and point at them and wave. Starr is in very good shape and was full of energy the entire concert. He would even jump up and down at times to the beat of the music. he was also as sassy and witty as fans would expect one of the Fab Four to be after seeing interviews with them or watching their movies, "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!"

My only complaint about the night is that Ringo didn't play any of the songs off his new album, "Give More Love." It's a great record and deserves to be heard. I really expected to at least hear the title track, but that was not the case. A live performance of the rollicking rocker "We're On the Road Again" would have been awesome to witness as well.

As usual, the Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory provided the perfect atmosphere and sound for Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band. The security was very nice to audience members who approached the stage to snap a quick picture of Ringo and his band. Things never got out of control as most folks would just take a picture with their cell phone and then return to their seats. I'm not saying that this sort of thing will happen at every show the Toyota Music Factory hosts, but it did in the transformed intimate setting of the indoor venue.

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