By Rudy Gray
Sir Ringo Starr brought the 30th edition of his All Starr Band to the Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Farmingville last Saturday night. The 2019 All Starr Band features Steve Lukather (Toto, guitar), Colin Hay (Men at Work, guitar), Gregg Rolie (Santana and Journey, keys), Warren Ham (sax), Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth band, drums) and Hamish Stuart (Average White Band, bass).
The sold-out crowd cheered as the All Starr Band took the stage, and as the first chords of “Matchbox” blasted through the sound system, Ringo jogged up on to the stage, flashing his trademark peace signs. The crowd roared its welcome and reciprocated the former Beatles drummer’s gestures for peace with their own hands raised up high in the air.
Ringo, with his ever youthful exuberance, bounced along on the stage as he directed the crowd to sing along and raise their hands. The crowd obliged, albeit a bit shy early on in the set. After the first three songs, Ringo took a seat on his own drum kit while letting the All Starr Band take the mic for a few songs of their own.
While the crowd was enthused with the ASB’s contributions, especially with Men at Work’s Hay and Toto’s Lukather, it was obvious who they came to see. When Ringo took back the spotlight for “Boys” (with Ringo on drums), “Don’t Pass Me By” (Ringo played the piano intro!) and “Yellow Submarine,” the crowd was all in for the sing-alongs and waving their arms collectively.
Ringo took the stage next for “You’re Sixteen,” and it was then as if every person in the venue believed they became 16 again as he crooned directly to each one of them, “You’re sixteen, you’re beautiful, and you’re mine.”
Everyone in the venue was on their feet for “Photograph” and “Act Naturally,” singing along to every word. Then the house lights came on as Ringo and his band began “With a Little Help From My Friends.” The fans belted their hearts out while Ringo did jumping jacks and clapped along with them.
The band played on as Ringo thanked the audience and told them “Peace and Love is the only way,” said good night and ran backstage. But wait − it’s not over! The band then segued into the chorus of “Give Peace a Chance,” and out came Ringo to join the band in singing, “All we are saying, is give peace a chance!” and then off he went again.
What an amazing end to a night full of positive energy. Ringo is right – “Peace and Love is the only way.”
All images by rGRAY photography