Review: Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band at Artpark

Thousands of people with umbrellas and ponchos crowded the fields of Lewiston’s Artpark for Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band. The sky was filled with heavy overcast with a few rays of sun but that did not stop the generation of The British Invasion and a few younger generations from waiting on the famous drummer.

The opening band for Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band was New York City’s very own, Andy Suzuki & The Method. The band filled their set with alternative songs with a mixture of blues and folk. Suzuki’s voice won the audience over with the loud applause and whistles after each song. Suzuki dedicated the song “Born Out of Mischief” to his mom and to all the other moms and dads in the crowd. The band kept the crowd entertained by making them a part of the show – clapping along to the chorus of “Lucy (The Devil)”. Suzuki even took a moment to point out his mom in the crowd while she waved back. The band ended with a bang, getting the crowd excited for Ringo Starr.

The stage immediately started to prepare for the one-time Beatle to make his appearance. The crowd cheered as the crew revealed the famous drummer’s drum kit with a huge red star on the bass drum. As the stage changed, so did the weather. The clouds came in thick and dark and in just a few minutes it started down pouring and rolls of thunder echoed throughout the hills. Fans continued to stand in the rain and chanted “Ringo! Ringo! Ringo!” until lightning was seen. The venue announced moments later that the show was postponed until the storm passed. People took cover in their cars, under the merchandise and beer tents or stood in the rain. Fans waited with crossed fingers for the rain to stop. In less than half-hour, the rain stopped and the sky cleared up. People were instructed to go back to the venue as the stage was swept dry for Ringo.

The All Starr Band made their first appearance on stage shortly after the stage was cleared of water. The crowd grew louder before everyone got the first look at Ringo Starr, who came out on stage, raising his hands with peace signs and thanked the crowd for holding up in the rain and said – “We would have played in the rain but they would not let us.”

Ringo’s All Starr Band consisted of many well-known names in the music industry, Todd Rundgren (guitarist), Greg Rolie (keyboardist), Steve Lukather (guitarist), Richard Page (bassist), Gregg Bisonette (drummer) and Warren Ham (saxophonist/ percussionist). The whole band had the amazing ability of singing and performing with each talented artist, it was as thought the audience witnessed five different bands performing on one stage.

The band opened up with Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox”. Throughout the night the setlist was a mixture of early Beatles songs, “Don’t Pass Me By” and “I Wanna Be Your Man”. Ringo had a sing along with the crowd for “Yellow Submarine”. He joked with the crowd saying if they did not know the song, they were at the wrong show. But also a mixture of 80’s songs were lead by the All Starr Band and some of the favorites of the night were, “Africa” was sung by Steve Lukather (Toto), “Black Magic Woman” sung by Gregg Rolie (Santana) and “Broken Wings” which was sung by Richard Page (Mr. Mister). Page’s incredible voice took the crowd by awe and a few lighters were seen swaying in the air during the song.

Towards the end of the night, Ringo performed the international single “Photograph” also co-written by George Harrrison. But the crowd sang loudly to “With A Little Help From My Friends”, Ringo could barely be heard while the crowd sang  and fans wrapped their arms around one another’s shoulders. After the song was finished, Ringo thanked the crowd and said that was it and briefly left the stage. But the All Starrs quickly started getting the crowd to clap their hands up high and the band started singing “Give Peace a Chance”. Ringo came back to join in with the last song and performed the song in remembrance of John Lennon.

Tears could be seen on some of the faces in the crowd as the band bowed together on stage. Wishlists and bucketlists were crossed off for most people there as they witnessed the most famous drummer of all time. Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band made an impact of every rock n roll fan in that crowd. It was not just a rock concert, to some; it was a memory that will last them a lifetime.

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