Ringo Starr @ Hordern Pavilion 13.02.13

Ringo Starr
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

What can you say about one of the biggest, best known drummers in the world that hasn't already been said?


It had been almost fifty years since Ringo Starr last visited Australia; back then Starr was one of four young men that not only captivated Australia but took the world by storm, forever changing popular music. Last night, Ringo Starr led his perfectly titled All-Starr band at the Sydney Hordern Pavilion for one of the most mind-blowing shows I have been fortunate enough to witness.

As the house lights went down the sold-out crowd became quite vocal, and the All-Starr band walked out onstage, kicking into Cal Perkins ‘Matchbox’. Ringo Starr’s stage entrance was everything I expected, energetic and certainly enjoyable. Ringo worked that stage like the true professional that he is and he did it all night long with a smile from ear to ear.

In fact, every person on that stage — from start to finish — was in very high spirits, happy to all be jamming onstage together and generally having a fantastic time, which certainly translated to all of us in the audience. The star studded line-up included Toto’s Steve Lukather, Santana’s Gregg Rolie, Mr. Mister’s Richard Page, drummer Greg Bissonette (who worked with Van Halen’s David Lee Roth), the mighty Todd Rundgren and multi-instrumentalist Mark Rivera. Putting those men together with the legendary Ringo Starr meant not one person in the venue would be walking out disappointed.

During the show fans would yell out to Ringo, saying all types of obvious things from “I love you, Ringo” to “Ringo, have my baby”. All night long Ringo joked with both the band onstage and members of the crowd. On first greeting the crowd, he asked “hands up all of those who bought my latest solo album”, then jokingly said “this is for all three of you” as the band kicked into ‘Wings’.  

Ringo Starr 1
Throughout the show fans were getting out of their seats, dancing in the aisles and singing along to the many classic hits that we were delivered. Stand-out tracks for me were Toto’s 'Africa', a fantastic version of Santana’s 'Black Magic Woman' and the Beatles classics ‘Don’t Pass Me By’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ and ‘Yellow Submarine’, which turned into an energetic sing-a-long with each and every person in that venue up on their feet.

Ringo really showed the crowd just how amazing his drumming abilities still are, sitting behind his beautiful Ludwig kit and sharing the stool with Greg Bissonette on his fine-looking Mapex kit. Between these two guys on drums it was hard to watch much else. Anytime I looked across at Greg, the smile smeared across his face just showed us how much he was enjoying every moment drumming with Starr. When the two played together it was truly incredible to watch.  

It is really hard for me to say who was more animated onstage, who was the stand out, as all members of this band were incredible to watch. The mighty Steve Lukather is a true rock star, his onstage presence and guitar solos left many fans in awe. The way Todd Rundgren used that stage is unlike any musician I have ever seen live and of course Ringo... the man could do no wrong.
Greg Rolie did such a mind-blowing job on keyboards and multi-instrumentalist Rivera and Mr Misters Page were brilliant.

From the moment the band started until those last notes, you could tell that every person in that room loved every moment! The crowd, which was certainly diverse in age, all had a great time. As for myself... well, I witnessed one of the greatest live shows I’ve ever seen. The sound was perfect, the lighting was great and to see so many brilliant musicians on one stage playing timeless songs that will live on forever was a true pleasure.  

Ringo, a man who is all about peace and love, no doubt felt plenty of love last night in that room, and to hear everyone singing along to John Lennon’s classic ‘Give Peace A Chance’ was something you have to witness at least once in your life.

Even with so many legendary musicians heading our way in coming months, it will be very hard for any of them to come close to topping last night’s show. Make sure you see Ringo and the All-Starr band on this tour. You will not be disappointed.

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