Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band / Photo by Fally Afani

We love a show that gets an audience just giddy. Ringo Starr’s good humor and laid back demeanor were pivotal ingredients for this when he hit up the Starlight on Monday night with his “All Starr Band.”

For those unfamiliar with how this setup works, Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band consists of several other musicians from popular bands. They’ve toured for more than three decades, taking turns at the mic and playing each other’s hits. On this night, the All Starr lineup consisted of Steve Lukather (of Toto), Gregg Rollie (of Santana and Journey), Graham Gouldman (of 10cc), and Colin Hay (of Men At Work). Warren Ham (on saxaphone) and the highly expressive Gregg Bissonette (on drums) rounded out the lineup.

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band / Photo by Fally Afani

While the night was full of delightful renditions of hits from said musicians– like “Black Magic Woman,” “Rosanna,” and “I’m Not In Love”– Starr would occasionally leave the drums to front his originals (“It Don’t Come Easy,” “Photograph”). There were two drum kits set up, one for Bissonette and one for Starr. Every song was met with a lengthy ending– it was like watching your friends get together and play in their basement, letting each song give way to a breezy jam sesh. Expectedly, it were the Beatles covers that got the relaxed crowd in sensible footwear on their feet (“What Goes On,” “Yellow Submarine”).

Other takeaways from the night:

  • Stars were everywhere. They covered Ringo’s jacket, there was one planted on his bass drum, and you’d see stars project onto the stage every now and then.
  • Ringo is chatty and knows how to get a laugh out of the crowd. His uber-placid demeanor allowed him to consistently talk with members of the audience who shouted at him. At one point, he tried to trick the crowd into thinking Mick Jagger was in attendance. He also took jabs at his songwriting role in the Beatles, commenting “When I joined the Beatles, I wrote a lot of songs. But none of them were recorded… until this one” before diving into “Don’t Pass Me By.”
  • The show fell on Labor Day, and began with Starr highlighting the fact that they were still working despite the holiday. “We’re the Laborers today!”
  • Naturally, peace and love were a big theme, as Ringo consistently flashed peace signs and, at the end of some songs, would lean into the mic and pronounce “Peace and love, peace and love!”
  • Colin Hay, of Men At Work, was perhaps the most underrated comedian of the night. He had a sort of dry humor with fantastic delivery. He told the audience it took him only 40 minutes to write “Down Under”before looking down at his instrument and muttering “It got me this nice guitar” and encouraging the audience to join in “if you feel like having a wee sing.”
  • Nothing beats seeing an entire crowd sing and clap along to “Yellow Submarine,” waving peace signs back and forth in the air for the duration of the entire song.


Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 15 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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