Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ringo Starr and the All Starr Band -- Sara's VIP concert review

Hello Beatle fans!   I just returned from seeing Ringo and His All Starr Band in concert the other night and I know you all would like to hear about it.

I have seen Ringo in concert twice before.   The first time was in 1995 and the 2nd time was in 2000.   I was long overdue to see a Ringo show.  When Ringo's tour was announced early in 2014, I decided that I was going to pick a date and go.   I decided upon the concert in Tunica, Mississippi simply because I had driven through Tunica a few times in the past few years and I knew how to get there.   Tunica, Mississippi isn't near where I live.   It is about a 6 hour drive.   I bought two VIP tickets (one for myself and one for my Ringo loving mom).   The Ringo VIP tickets are much cheaper than the Paul tickets and you do not get much extra for them.   About a week before the concert I got a package with my Ringo swag from UPS.  Here is what you get:  Ringo t-shirt, Ringo poster, laminate with tour dates on it, and canvas Ringo bag.   

So we drive down to Tunica, Mississippi, which is a really big gambling town.   I was able to get a hotel room in the place where the concert was held, which was the Horseshoe casino and hotel.    I am not used to staying at a casino.  I have never been to Vegas.   I sort of felt out of place.

After checking in and finding our room, we find the box office because we have to pick up our VIP tickets.   The lady behind the ticket counter has a roll of blank tickets and she takes out her green sharpie marker and writes out our tickets.   I found this to be really strange.  

Our room was on the 2nd floor of the hotel.   We heard some music coming out of one of the executive rooms.   My mom jokingly asked a man leaving the room, "Is Ringo in there?"   The man said, "Yeah---he is doing his sound check right now."   We couldn't believe our luck!   So we stood outside of the room and listened to the soundcheck.   We didn't hear a lot of songs, but we did hear "Africa" and "Boys" and then a bunch of just random jamming.    It was really neat.

I have to confess that I did not care who was playing in the All Starr Band.   I came to see Ringo.   And while I like to think that I listen to a variety of music, the real truth is that I don't.    I guess I just spent most of my time listening to the Beatles or solo music.   So when I looked at the list of who was playing with the All Starr Band, I honestly didn't know who they were.     The band was made up of Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie, Todd Rundgren, Richard Page, Warren Ham, and Gregg Bissonette.

Our seats were in the 2nd row as part of the VIP deal.   When we got there, a group of people were lined up and waiting to for the "meet and greet."    I do not know how they got that deal.   I tried to ask a few of the people in the line and they either ignored me or one person said, "we got our tickets way in advance."   When I told her that I had ordered my tickets the day they came out in March and had VIP and didn't see anything else listed, she chuckled at me.    So I know that in some select cities (New York, Chicago and L.A.) fans were meeting Ringo through the art show.    I had not heard of any other meet and greet opportunities.   And frankly I will never understand all of the secrecy that occurs in the Beatle community.   I saw the same type of behavior at the Paul concert.   If you got the "meet and greet" tickets because you know someone or whatever....why is that a secret?  

Ringo's show started promptly at 8:00pm.   I appreciate him starting on time.     He started right with "Matchbox."    It was so exciting to see Ringo in person!    He even pointed to me during this first song.    Ringo really seems at ease on stage.   And he REALLY interacts with the audience.    He is always waving and pointing and giving peace signs to his fans, even the ones in the back of the auditorium.   I love that!   I think it really makes for a special concert.  Ringo then sang two more songs (It don't come easy and Wings) before he moved to the drums and allowed the All Starrs to perform.

I loved being in the 2nd row, but on the other hand it was sort of a bad place because it was so close.  I had to look up to see everyone and my view of Ringo on the drums was terrible!   

This is what I got to see of Ringo on the drums

The All Starrs are a really good band.   They obviously have a great relationship with each other.   It is apparent that they aren't just individuals that are performing, but they have worked together to become a tight band.    Richard Page, who was the lead singer for Mister Mister has an amazing voice.  He sounds JUST like he did when I would listen to Hot 97 radio in the 1980's as a kid.   Todd Rundgren has great stage presence.   He is all over that stage, playing to the entire house.   And his song "Bang the drum all day" is just so much fun.   I am very familiar with that song, but I guess I just never knew who sang it.

Ringo sang and played "Boys" while on the drums and then moved to the keyboard and began "Don't Pass me by," which he finished out in front.   He sounded really good on this classic song from the White Album.   Then he sang everyone's favorite, "Yellow Submarine."    During this song, Ringo noticed my mom's t-shirt that said, "Ringo Rocks."   He motioned his finger over his chest and pointed and my mom and gave her a thumbs up!   He liked her shirt!  My mom was thrilled.   Her favorite Beatle for the past 50 years noticed her.  It really was a thrill. 

If I had to complain about anything it would be the long instrumentals that the band played.   I realize that most everyone in the crowd loved them, but I just don't get into long guitar riffs.   Those Santana songs are long and I think that is why I never could get into Santana.   I tend to like the typical pop song that is 3 minutes long.    I found myself sitting there while they went on and on wondering when Ringo was going to sing again.  

And Ringo did sing some more.   When he sang "Anthem" he noticed that I was making a peace sign.  I enjoy many of the songs on Ringo 2012 and I think it is one of his better albums of the past decade.   Then he went into "Honey Don't."

Ringo left the stage completely during the song "Oye Como Va."  But he returned to his drums for "I wanna be your man," which he dedicated to "All the ladies."

After a few more All Starr performances, Ringo finished the night with "Photograph." "Act Naturally," and "Help from my Friends."    He then left the stage and the band kept singing "Give Peace a Chance."   Ringo returned for a short period of time without his jacket on and sang a few choruses and then left again.   The band took a bow, and I sort of thought Ringo would have made one more appearance to bow with them, but he did not.  

Just a few more thoughts--I couldn't believe how many people were there with Beatles albums and autograph books seriously thinking that Ringo was going to sign for them.   Do these people not know Ringo?   If they want his autograph, he was selling them for $500 for the Loctus foundation.   That is the only way you can get his signature.   Like it or not---that is how it is.   There were also people walking around the front of the stage a lot.   One woman was trying to give one of the band members a beer and another guy was trying to shake Ringo's hand.   I just thought it was strange.  

If you haven't seen a Ringo concert in awhile, it is well worth going to.   He really gels with this band and they are extremely good.    I am going to see them again on October 3rd when they come to St. Louis.  

*All photos were taken by Sara or Coral Schmidt.  Please ask before you use the photos (I will say yes).


  1. I'm glad that you and your mom had a great time! I'm like you, I often don't know who most of the people in his band are, glad to know I'm not alone in that! It's a shame about those fans at the meet and greet, I don't get why people are rude for no reason. And I thought everyone knew about the no autograph thing, obviously not!

  2. Thanks for the review! I'm glad you and your mom got to see Ringo so close! And I agree with you, sometimes Beatle fans can get really funny when it comes to sharing. Fortunately, it's just a handful of them. Most fans are really nice. I also wonder how they got to the meet and greet...

  3. sorry to bother you with this sara but when I click in your BEST BEATLES SPOTS Whatever Gets you Thru the night (John photos) it leads to a porn site since 2 days ago. please check this. I'm glad you saw ringo so close. your friend luis from mexico.

  4. Sara! Thanks for the review! Though I'm happy Ringo gets a break (just because he's getting on in years), I actually prefer it when he drums! I'd love to see a long Santana jam if Ringo is drumming! One of my favorite memories is watching the Jack Bruce-Dave Edmunds All-Starr band, when they would do "White Room", and watching Ringo wail on that one.

    I'm really psyched your mom got noticed for her shirt!! And you got noticed too!!! Good for the both of you! My nephew (who's 8) just got to go see Ringo at the Beacon, and Ringo pointed at him during the encore, so he's all excited these days!

    Great pics! I laughed at the "this is my view of Ringo on the drums" pic!

  5. Hello, Sara. Thanks for sharing, Can I use your photos of Ringo on the Ukrainian Beatlefans' site ?

    1. Sure!!! Thanks for asking. Pretty neat that the photos I took in the United States will be seen by fans in the Ukrain. The internet has it's issues, but the fact that it helps make the Beatles fandom spread the love around the world is a big time plus.


  7. Hi Sara! Sounds like you and your Mom had a great experience two years ago. I just purchased my VIP ticket to see them outside of Boston on June 11th.
    Haha...I thought your comment about not knowing (or caring) who the other musicians were was funny. I've been there myself. I do however happen to be a big fan of Toto and Steve Lukather, as I'm sure you know now, is the band's guitarist/singer. I am really looking forward to this.
    It is a shame how no one was forthright in telling you how they got their meet and greet. The snobbery!! Lol!
    Purhaps someone who reads this and knows how to go about getting a meet and greet with them at the Worcester, MA DCU Center will divulge the big "secret". ;-)
    Thanks so much for sharing your great pics and concert adventure with us!!
    ~ Cheryl from Boston

  8. I just saw Ringo and the All Star band in San Diego and Ringo happily took a bunch of roses from one lady in the front row, and he and Todd both threw towels into the audience..