Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band touched down in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday night for the latest stop on their Fall tour. Hosted by the historic Fox Theatre in Midtown Atlanta, this 4,665-capacity venue dates back to 1929 when it was originally designed as the headquarters for a 5,000-member Shriners organization. Citing its architectural uniqueness, the Fox was named a National Historic Landmark in May 1976. The “Fabulous Fox” (as it is locally known) also has a storied musical past, including hosting performances by Elvis Presley, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Pearl Jam, Ray Charles, and James Brown. It was the perfect stage setting for such a legendary ensemble of artists to grace on Tuesday.
As the clock ticked towards 8:15pm, and with no opening act scheduled, the All Starr band took to the Fox stage and started their two-hour night off with a cover of “Matchbox,” the 1957 Carl Perkins tune. Band leader Ringo Starr, the iconic drummer and contributing singer/songwriter for The Beatles, appeared shortly thereafter with his signature peace signs up in the air to screaming audience adulation.
Originally formed in 1989, the supergroup of artists currently on tour with Starr include Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth and Steve Vai), Warren Ham (Kansas, Toto), Colin Hay (Men at Work), Steve Lukather (Toto), Hamish Stuart (Average White Band, and a veteran of Paul McCartney’s 1989 and 1990s tours and albums), and Edgar Winter. The stage was filled with a who’s who of generational music history, each getting their moment of spotlight throughout the night.
My musical tastes were generally baked in during the 1980s, so the highlights for me during the first segment of the show were listening to Lukather lead the band through a cover of Toto’s 1982 hit “Rosanna,” and Hay’s rendition of the 1981 Men at Work hit, “Down Under.” Before taking a brief break to “go to his dressing room and drink his juice,” the 83-year-old Starr took to the microphone and inspired an audience sing-along to the familiar “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles. The night was then turned over to Stuart and Winter for performances of “Cut the Cake” (Average White Band cover) and “Frankenstein” (The Edgar Winter Group).
Upon Starr’s return, the band launched into “Octopus’s Garden” by The Beatles, which was the start of a 12-song run through. This portion of the show included immediately-recognizable covers of “Africa” and “Hold the Line” by Toto, “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men at Work, and a vibrant version of the Chuck Berry tune “Johnny B. Goode” anchored by Winter’s vocals and Lukather’s dazzling guitar prowess.
As the evening drew to an end, Starr quipped that “if you don’t know this next song, you are in the wrong venue, and you can wait for Led Zeppelin.” Following a quick musical tease of “Whole Lotta Love,” the band capped the night off with a lovable, everyone-to-their-feet performance of “With a Little Help from my Friends” by The Beatles from their 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Starr, along with his multi-instrumentalist All Starrs, are aging musical icons not to be missed, so be sure to take the chance if you get it. This tour continues on for just a few more weeks, with it currently scheduled to wrap up on Friday, October 13th, at the Lucas Oil Live at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
Ringo Starr – Vocals, drums
Edgar Winter – Vocals, keyboards, alto sax
Steve Lukather – Vocals, guitar, bass
Hamish Stuart – Vocals, bass, guitar
Colin Hay – Vocals, guitar
Warren Ham – Vocals, tenor sax, flute, harmonica, keyboards, percussion
Greg Bissonette – Drums, vocals
1.) Matchbox (Carl Perkins cover)
2.) It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo Starr song)
3.) What Goes On (The Beatles cover)
4.) Free Ride (The Edgar Winter Group cover)
5.) Rosanna (Toto cover)
6.) Pick Up the Pieces (Average White Band cover)
7.) Down Under (Men at Work cover)
8.) Boys (The Shirelles cover)
9.) I’m the Greatest (Ringo Starr song)
10.) Yellow Submarine (The Beatles cover)
11.) Cut the Cake (Average White Band cover)
12.) Frankenstein (The Edgar Winter Group cover)
13.) Octopus’s Garden (The Beatles cover)
14.) Back Off Boogaloo (Ringo Starr song)
15.) Overkill (Men at Work cover)
16.) Africa (Toto cover)
17.) Work to Do (The Isley Brothers cover)
18.) I Wanna Be Your Man (The Beatles cover)
19.) Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry cover)
20.) Who Can It Be Now? (Men at Work cover)
21.) Hold the Line (Toto cover)
22.) Photograph (Ringo Starr song)
23.) Act Naturally (Johnny Russell cover)
24.) With a Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles cover)
Follow Ringo Starr Online
Elliott is a music photographer covering shows in Atlanta, Georgia, and the surrounding area. The highlight of his photography career was back in the early ’90s, when he sold Neil Diamond the rights to his negatives from a show and then purchased a set of tires for his 1979 280ZX during college with the money.