There are only two Beatles left on this planet, and Tuesday night one of them was in Fort Lauderdale.
If you've ever seen Paul McCartney live, you know what an unforgettable experience that is. Even at seventy-two years of age, Sir Paul still belts out three hour performances, playing all the hits that pull at your heartstrings.
There was no Paul in sight last night, Ringo Starr was the only Beatle in town, offering a different kind of show. Less rock and roll, more Vegas lounge act. For the last 25 years, Ringo has toured with a rotating cast of musicians, creating supergroups from throughout rock history. The 2014 edition dubbed the thirteenth All-Starr Band showcased Todd Rundgren on guitar, Mr. Mister's Richard Page on bass, Toto's Steve Lukather on lead guitar, and Santana's Greg Rolie on keyboard.
The band backs Ringo on all of his songs including his Beatles tracks "Yellow Submarine," "I Wanna Be Your Man," "Don't Pass Me By," and "With A Little Help From My Friends." Then the man himself steps back and takes the drums while the other All-Starrs get their moment in the spotlight singing the songs that made them rich.
Beatlemaniacs might at first be upset they didn't get to spend the entire evening focusing solely on Ringo, but it only takes a few songs to remember he never was a frontman. He's still got the charm, wit, and personality that made him the Beatle who received the most fan letters, but he's pretty one dimensional as a singer and only has one move as a dancer. It's swinging his arms back and forth in a happy-go-lucky manner, if you were wondering.
While it would have been nice to hear "Octopus's Garden" and "What Goes On," the real thrill was seeing the 74-year-old Ringo still spry on the drum set hitting the hi hats exactly how he did in all those grainy Ed Sullivan clips.
The All Starrs were solid with the musical highlight being the jam during "Black Magic Woman" when Ringo took a break and we all felt the cocaine flashbacks induced by Mr. Mister songs "Kyrie" and "Broken Wings." Todd Rundgren inflicted massive doses of irony on his three songs, which could be an acquired taste.
Steve Lukather could have chilled out a bit with his guitar solo obsession. His noodling intrusion on the simple perfection of "With A Little Help From My Friends" was borderline sacrilegious, but not even that could break the smile on your face realizing you're in the same room with Ringo singing, "I just need someone to love."
Here's hoping the next time he assembles an All Starr Band, Ringo can cajole McCartney to play bass.
"It Don't Come Easy"
"I Saw the Light"
"Bang the Drum All Day"
"Don't Pass Me By"
"Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen"
"You Are Mine"
"Oye Como Va"
"Love Is the Answer"
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Hold the Line"
"With a Little Help from My Friends"
"Give Peace a Chance"
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