Ringo Rocks Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
The 15th All-Star Band came to town with Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather of Toto, Colin Hay of Men at Work, Hamish Stuart of the Average White Band and Paul McCartney, Warren Ham of Kansas and drummer Greg Bissonette who has played with Ringo since 2003. Ringo started the supergroup in 1989 with a revolving array of artists with every tour. Of course, this tour was rescheduled due to the pandemic as are most. At 82, Ringo looks and sounds great. The audience a mix of Beatles fans, young and old. The Beatles are relevant as ever with McCartney continued touring, a Sirius radio Beatles channel, a Broadway show and Beatles tribute acts all around the country.
Ringo’s All-Stars are a special treat because not only do you get a Beatle, you get a variety of big hit and accomplished artists. Ringo opened with “Matchbox” a Carl Perkins cover and his hit “It Don’t Come Easy”, and the first Beatles cover of the night, “What Goes On”.
This tour brought one of my personal favorites whose album “Roadwork” by his band White Trash in 1974 went gold. Edgar Winter played his hit “Free Ride” and the iconic rock instrumental, “Frankenstein”. The amazing live version played at Ruth Eckerd included a sax solo by Edgar & Warren instead of the usual guitar solo version.
Steve Lukather of Toto is an underrated guitarist. He is one of the best around. He had the audience on its feet with Toto’s hits “Rosanna”, “Africa” and “Hold the Line” He has been playing with Ringo on several tours. Hamish Stuart is an original member of the Average White Band and toured several years with Paul McCartney. The instrumentals of “Picking Up the Pieces” and “Cut the Cake” gave the entire band a chance to shine.
Colin Hay, lead singer of Men at Work was clearly a fan favorite with his trio of MAW hits including “Who Can It Be Now”, “Downunder” and “Overkill”. His voice sounds as good as 1983 when these songs hit the radio and MTV. Colin also sang harmony on several of the Toto songs with Steve. A touching moment in the show was Edgar Winter doing a tribute to his late brother Johnny Winter with a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Good”
This IS Ringo’s All-Stars and he gives us plenty of good time, feel good, sing-along gems with “Octopus’ Garden”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Back Off Bugaloo” and the Beatles cover, “I Wanna Be Your Man”! Ringo jokes with the audience as well as offering his trademark “Peace & Love”to the crowd. The encore included his hit “Photograph”, “Act Naturally” and the big sing-along for everyone, “With a Little Help From My Friends”, that segues into his bandmate John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band’s, “Give Peace a Chance”. A Ringo show is a great, fun time with excellent music by some of the best musicians around and one of the most famous drummers of our time! Ringo has released a brand new EP3 on 9/16 with 4 new tracks! Check it out at Ringo Starr.
Vicky Sullivan Photos