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Peter Frampton
August 1, 1996

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Ringo Starr
and His All Star Band

A Concert Review

May 9, 1997

The Rosemont Horizon

Rosemont, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
I'm Pissed…
I generally don't get upset or throw my pissed-off-ed-ness into a review, but a phrase like "They don't think an internet magazine is good enough" almost landed Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band with no review from me.

It all began nicely enough - I get to The Rosemont Horizon for the show and was supposed to have photo clearance so all of you readers could see some pictures from the show. You know, a nice shot of Ringo - maybe even on drums, a good one of Peter Frampton wailing on guitar, Gary Brooker pounding away on keyboards, and Jack Bruce playing that big-ol' bass. You know, standard coverage like we do, trying to get good shots of the entire band and give you a feeling of the energy of the show. Well, I go to investigate my clearance, there's nothing there, and the nice dude who went to check on things returned with: "They don't think an internet magazine is good enough. Sorry, I can't help you."

Maybe I was in shock at what I heard, maybe it just didn't strike me yet, but as I started walking my camera gear back to my car I started thinking about what I was told. "Not good enough." The more I was thinking about it, the more I was getting steamed, and in all honesty I almost just said "Fuck it," hopped in the Dude-mobile, and headed home. But, I did have my ticket, so I figured I would at least cover the show, and hope I could not let me being pissed influence my review.

I made my way to the ticket-taker dude, found my seat, and as I looked at the sparse crowd my thoughts turned to "I would think with this half-full Horizon, if Ringo and the boys put on a good show, maybe he would like a review going nationwide to tell people to not miss this show." Well, in all honesty, if you ever wanted to hear Ringo live, catch some classic Frampton, hear some Cream classics, or wished Procol Harum would tour again, this is a great show to go see.

It's Payback Time…At Least That's What I Thought
So, I'm sitting there, stewing in my seat trying to come up with any bad comments I could think of before the show, when something strikes me. What I saw was a pretty diverse age-group of people. Well, I guess it spanned from one end (teenagers) to another (the parents), and I'm first thinking that there is no way these youngins are here to see Ringo and his All-Stars. Nope, I'm figuring dad wanted to go see the show and brought the kids along. I could hear dad now: "I had to go sit through that crap band you wanted to see, I think they were called Bush, so now son, you get to go see what real music is about." Yep, that's what I figured, and when I made that comment to the guy next to me he kind of agreed. He didn't think the kids were there of their own choice, either. Payback time for dad - that's what I thought.

I was wrong. To my shock, once the show started (yea - I'm getting to that part of this review soon), the kids were singing, dancing, and having what looked to be a better time than their parents. Hmm, I'm thinking that these kids are on the internet all of the time - maybe Ringo might want to tap into the younger crowd, but, hmm, I guess an internet magazine isn't good enough. Oh well, on with the show.

"What's My Name?" (The Review Starts Here...)
As the lights went down and Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker, Simon Kirke, and Mark Rivera hit the stage, I was still pissed, but I was also skeptical. Generally if you take a group of musicians from different bands, throw them up on a stage together, and make them play their classics, it usually just ends up being one big jam session, each person trying to get their face in the spotlight, and just never seems like a band. This time, though, it was almost like everyone put their individual egos aside, and just played like the great band they would be.

The structure of the show was pretty simple: Ringo would come out front, sing either a Ringo song or Beatles' classic, head back to his drum kit, and hits from each of the respective musicians, or their band, would rotate around. With that, and with this line-up of some of the most influential bands and performers of their time, this night was a treat. See, I was too young to have ever heard Cream live, but Jack Bruce's cover of "White Room" sounded as fresh as when I first heard it on my brothers record player. Then there was Gary Brooker and his Procol Harum songs - specifically "Conquistador" and "Whiter Shade of Pale." My only chance for hearing those is on my "The Best of Procol Harum" CD, but live they took on another level. Some Bad Company classics sounded great when Simon Kirke got his turn, and Peter Frampton, well, I developed a new-found level of respect for his guitar work surpassing what I found when I got to see him touring around last year. And then there was Ringo.

What impressed me most about Ringo was that he only tried to steal the spotlight when it was his turn. From his questioning the crowd with "What's my name?", which the crowd screamed "Ringo," to leading the crowd in sing-a-longs, even with his ego, he left it in check and let the band shine through, which made this show really a classic to see.

If anyone seemed to have a spotlight this night it was Mr. Frampton, and I guess that's mostly from the guitar he plays. Why? Because nearly every song was a classic, but nearly every song had a guitar spotlight, so Peter Frampton became the focal point many a time. Sure, he had his songs to play, and we know them all from "Frampton Comes Alive," but what would the Cream classic "Sunshine of Your Love" be without a great guitar solo traded with the bass jams of Jack Bruce, what would any Bad Company song be without a searing guitar, and Frampton added an extra touch to all of the Ringo songs.

Not what I expected at all, this was a band by all band means. They played extremely well together, and if they would all sit down together I'll bet they could blast out some new songs to last the next 30 years. Egos never got in the way, and this band just played and blew out the tunes that defined their generation. So, I guess as a band, and me being objective, this was a really good show by some of the best players in the business. The youngins were dancin', the parents were singin' and relivin' some of their drug-smokin' days, and Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band brought history back to the stage.

The crowd had a great time, and even by the time the lights came on after "With a Little Help From My Friends" I was having a good time, so Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band gets TWO "MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE CROWD" THUMBS UP! And by the end of the show I came up with a theory as to how I ended up hearing "They don't think an internet magazine is good enough." See, it's like that old game of telephone. The dude goes and finds Ringo and tells him there's a guy from an internet magazine looking for photo clearance. Ringo says to the first guy something like "Internet magazines are cool." That guy tells another guy that Ringo said "Internet magazines are good." This guy tells another guy that the Ringo said "Internet magazines are no good." All of a sudden I'm not taking photos. Well, it probably didn't happen that way, and I probably won't cover another Ringo Starr show again, but it's a theory.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!


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