Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band: 3/27/1999

This was my second time seeing Ringo.  The first time was cool, but this show was light years better.

The lineup for this incarnation of the All-Starr Band was nothing short of mind-blowing.

  • Ringo Starr – drums, vocals
  • Todd Rundgren (from Nazz and Utopia) – guitar, percussion, vocals
  • Gary Brooker (from Procol Harum) – organ, keyboards, vocals
  • Jack Bruce (from Cream) – bass, keyboards, vocals
  • Simon Kirke (from Free and Bad Company) – drums, vocals
  • Timmy Cappello – saxophone, keyboards, harmonica, guitar, vocals

The band opened the show with “It Don’t Come Easy,” which is maybe my favorite Ringo solo song and one that he did not play the first time I saw him. This show also had a nice amount of Beatles tunes woven in. And the songs from the other members—WOW! Todd actually played some Utopia, Simon sang some Bad Co. and a Free song, Gary Brooker sang some classic Procol Harum stuff, including Conquistador, and Jack Bruce belted out several Cream hits. There was absolutely no weak spots anywhere in this show.

Here’s the full setlist. Rock on!

Setlist:

  • It Don’t Come Easy
  • Act Naturally
  • Whisky Train
  • I Saw the Light
  • Sunshine of Your Love
  • Shooting Star
  • Boys
  • Love Me Do
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Conquistador
  • Hammer in My Heart
  • I’m the Greatest
  • No No Song
  • I Feel Free
  • All Right Now
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Bang the Drum All Day
  • White Room
  • A Whiter Shade of Pale
  • Photograph

Encore:

  • You’re Sixteen
  • With a Little Help From My Friends

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band: 6/2/1992

This was my first time seeing Ringo. What can I say—he’s a Beatle and therefore resides in the hall of rock and roll royalty.

He performed at the Sunrise Musical Theatre, a small venue that had good acoustics, and we had fourth-row seats, which was especially nice. I went with my wife, who is a huge Todd Rundgren fan, so she was especially excited that Todd was a part of Ringo’s band. His band truly was an all-star lineup:

  • Ringo Starr – drums, percussion, cowbell, vocals
  • Joe Walsh – guitar, keyboards, talk box, bass drum, vocals
  • Nils Lofgren – guitar, vocals
  • Todd Rundgren – guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion, tambourine, vocals
  • Dave Edmunds – guitar, vocals
  • Burton Cummings – keyboards, guitar, tambourine, harmonica, flute, vocals
  • Timothy B. Schmit – bass, guitar, vocals
  • Zak Starkey – drums
  • Timmy Cappello – saxophone, percussion, keyboards, vocals

What was really cool about this show was that Ringo allowed all the other members of his band to perform a couple of their songs, so the set was very egalitarian. Todd singing “Bang the Drum All Day” and Dave Edmunds singing “I Hear You Knocking” particularly stood out for me.

What was really bizarre, though, was Burton Cummings. I’d seen him with the Guess Who, and he was cool. He sang and performed well at this show, but he was doing some strange things on stage. He kept licking the microphone stand, like he was performing fellatio or something, then stroking it furiously in masturbatory fashion. Not that I was offended—all’s fair in rock and roll as far as I’m concerned—it just seemed out of place with the rest of the band and what they were doing.

As far as Ringo’s songs, he sang a nice mix of Beatles’ tunes and solo material. The only song that was noticeably absent was “It Don’t Come Easy.” That was one song I pretty much expected to hear, but didn’t. Still, it was a great show, and I would see Ringo perform “It Don’t Come Easy” the next time I saw him.

Here’s the full setlist.

Setlist:

  • I’m the Greatest
  • No No Song
  • No Time
  • Girls Talk
  • Look at Us Now
  • I Can’t Tell You Why
  • Shine Silently
  • Bang the Drum All Day
  • Don’t Go Where the Road Don’t Go
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Pretty Maids All in a Row
  • Love of the Common Man
  • Keep On Tryin’
  • Wiggle
  • Black Maria
  • In the City
  • You’re Sixteen
  • Weight of the World
  • Walkin’ Nerve
  • I Hear You Knocking
  • American Woman
  • Photograph

Encore:

  • Act Naturally
  • With a Little Help From My Friends

Paul McCartney: 7/28/2010

mccartney_7-28-10

This was the second time that I went to see Sir Paul McCartney in concert, but it holds a special place in my heart because I went with my two daughters, who are both Beatles fans (I raised them well). I had seen McCartney 20 years before (I think there is a song reference here), but was particularly excited about this show because it was indoors as opposed to a big stadium show. My friend Bob was also taking his two daughters, so we all piled into his van and made the journey to Charlotte for the show.

We got there with time to get dinner, so we went for pizza. The streets were teeming with McCartney fans, which was very cool. There was a real sense that we were all part of something big.

After entering the arena, we had to split up, since we did not all have seats together. My daughters and I had seats in the upper deck on the side of the stage, which was cool because we looked right down on Paul and when he played piano, he was facing right at us. We missed some of the video stuff, but that was not a big deal for me.

Paul opened the show with Venus and Mars > Rock Show > Jet. I was floored right off the bat. Not what I would have expected, but Rock Show is one of my favorite Wings songs. The rest of the concert was heavy on the Beatles stuff, with a good dose of Wings and McCartney solo material. What was really cool, though, was that he played some George and John stuff, which was totally a surprise for me. It was like he was acknowledging the influence his former bandmates had on his musical career. I found it to be very moving.

Watching my kids dance and sing along to these songs made me happier than I can really express. My mom was a huge Beatles fan and actually went to school with Ringo in Liverpool. So watching my kids at this concert, it was like the music formed a bridge connecting generations. Music is like that. It transcends.

Paul played a marathon concert. I was really impressed with how long he played and the energy he had. There were so many high points, it would be impossible to cover them all. In addition to the opening, definitely “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “A Day in the Life,” and “Helter Skelter” were probably the top moments for me. But again, it was all great. There was nothing about this concert that was anything less than fab.

Here is the setlist. Let’s all hope that Paul keeps on rollin’ for years to come. He has been part of the soundtrack of my life and I would like to keep him around as long as possible.


Setlist:

  • Venus and Mars
  • Rock Show
  • Jet
  • All My Loving
  • Letting Go
  • Drive My Car
  • Highway
  • Let Me Roll It (With Foxy Lady Snippet)
  • The Long and Winding Road
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
  • Let ‘Em In
  • My Love
  • I’ve Just Seen a Face
  • And I Love Her
  • Blackbird
  • Here Today
  • Dance Tonight
  • Mrs. Vandebilt
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Ram On
  • Something
  • Sing the Changes
  • Band on the Run
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Back in the U.S.S.R.
  • I’ve Got a Feeling
  • Paperback Writer
  • A Day in the Life (With Give Peace A Chance Snippet)
  • Let It Be
  • Live and Let Die
  • Hey Jude

Encore:

  • Day Tripper
  • Lady Madonna
  • Get Back

Encore 2:

  • Yesterday
  • Helter Skelter
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • The End