Concert Review: Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band at Wildhorse Saloon, Nashville, TN 7/6/2008

The ageless Ringo Starr came to a packed Wildhorse tonight along with his All Starr Band. Having to sit through a near two and a half hour set of 27 classic (well, mostly classic) songs performed by six rock stars of high stature is tough work, but someone had to do it.

The first question I’d ask Ringo (if I had the chance) would be “What fountain are you drinking from?”, because the man is 68 years old and looks not a day over 40. His “All Starrs” all look a little bit more their ages, but I’m here to tell you these guys can still rock. This version of the “All Starrs” consisted of 80’s hit maker Billy Squier on lead guitar, Colin Hay (of Men at Work fame) on rhythm guitar, Hamish Stuart (of Average White Band and Wings fame), Edgar Winter (The Texas Tornado) on keyboards and saxophone, and Gary Wright on keyboards. And they all sing, too. Gregg Bisonette played drums solo when Ringo was up front singing and double drummed with him when the other band mates took their turns front and center.

The concert started out with a short teaser of “A Little Help from My Friends”, just in case anyone was not aware that we were watching an original Beatle at work. Ringo kept the spotlight for three more songs, most notably his 70’s hit “It Don’t Come Easy”. By this point we had also gotten a good feel for the “All Starrs”, who were all backing him up nicely. I was immediately impressed with Squier’s guitar work and Winter’s honky tonk piano in “Memphis in Your Mind”. Someone said “we’re just getting warmed up” and they weren’t kidding.

Next, Ringo sat behind the drums and up came Squier, who proceeded to rock out “Lonely Is the Night”. His guitar was jumping with power chords and his voice was in fine form, although he wasn’t hitting a few of the really high notes. But what he has lost in vocal range was made up with attitude. Squier was the main power supply of this show.

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