Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band Shine On At Phoenix’s Celebrity Theatre (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

Ringo Starr, the famed Beatles drummer and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee returned to The Celebirity Theatre in Phoenix on August 26th with his All Starr Band – his first appearance at the theater in the round since a headlining show there in 2016. On this particular Monday, local Arizona night music fans had a choice between seeing Starr or The Rolling Stones at the Cardinals’ football stadium crosstown in Glendale. It was a difficult choice, but this choice was very rewarding.

The experience at the Celebrity Theatre was a very different experience in more ways than one. It has a much more intimate ambiance with a seating capacity of 2650. The stage is in the round and rotates throughout the show. Each fan had an opportunity to view the show up close and personal. The downside is that from any angle in the theatre, you are viewing the back of the band for half of the show. The show was sold out and it was obvious that everyone present was thrilled to be in the presence of a living Beatle.

Starr has a choice of anyone he wants for his band and he made the perfect decision for this tour. The 2019 All-Starr band features a collection of classic rock legends: Steve Lukather on guitar (founding member of Toto), Colin Hay on guitar (Men At Work), Gregg Rolie on organ (co-founder of Santana and Journey), Greg Bissonette on drums (David Lee Roth Band), Warren Ham on saxophone and flute (Kansas) and Hamish Stuart on bass guitar (Average White Band).

Starr’s charisma was present from the start of the show as he moved from all areas of the round stage flashing his characteristic peace sign and his infectious smile. Those fans in the front row got extra individual attention from Starr throughout the show.

Starr introduced the Country-tinged “Don’t Pass Me By,” by sharing “When I joined the Beatles, I’d written a lot of songs. None of them were recorded until we got to this one.” He baited the crowd when he introduced “Boys,” “It’s that time where I’m going do a number with a band I used to be in,” Starr said, earning a rousing cheer. “Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.”

Starr left the stage during the show as he gave the spotlight to the All-Starr Band. Much of the show’s success is contingent on the All-Starr Band members’ past history since Starr has fewer hit songs than the other Beatles. Each band member took the spotlight to in rapid succession. Rolie gave a killer performance of Santana’s “Evil Ways” and “Black Magic Woman.” Hay’s rendition of “Down Under” and “Overkill” were reminders of how good Men At Work were.

Stuart added funk to the show when he led with AWB’s classics “Pick Up the Pieces” and “Cut the Cake.” Starr’s songs are perfect sing-a-long songs and the fans took full advantage of providing choral support for “Yellow Submarine,” “A Little Help From My Friends,” and “Act Naturally.”

Starr took the position in the background as the second drummer. The lean Starr may have seemed a bit fragile when he was singing lead, but he was as strong as a tiger when he was seated behind the drum set. Two drummers created an explosive sound for the band. Monday night provided a fun and  intimate show and it was simply just a thrill to see the living legend Ringo Starr perform live in a small ve

Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band Setlist Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ, USA 2019, 14th All Starr Band

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