(featuring Ringo Starr, Greg Lake, Howard Jones, Sheila E., Ian Hunter and Roger Hodgson)

August 13, 2001
Chastain Park Amphitheater
Atlanta, GA


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Under foreboding Atlanta skies, 60-year old ex-boy band member Ringo Starr virtually skipped out from the wings of Chastain to an ecstatic crowd. After the opening numbers “Photograph” and “Act Naturally,” Ringo voiced the storm concerns held by a majority of the crowd as the clouds became even gloomier. He tempted the ominously heavy sky by declaring with a huge smile, “but it’s never rained on me yet” as he turned the mic over for the first of many times that evening. After the simple country rock that preceded it, “In The Court Of The Crimson King” was especially bizarre. That’s the cool thing about these annual “all-starr” summer outings. Every year, Ringo puts together a band comprised of singers from classic pop and rock outfits. This year featured an exceptionally “eclectic” collection of musicians. Greg Lake of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer played bass. Sheila E. and Ringo played drums. Howard Jones was on keyboards. Roger Hodgson of Supertramp and Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople alternated between guitar and even more keyboards. Of course, they all took turns singing their biggest hits. It’s nearly impossible to explain how odd it is to hear this kind of a set list. Roger Hodgson’s letter-perfect version of “The Logical Song” was followed by Howard Jones’ “No One Is To Blame.” One of the strangest juxtapositions was from The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” to ELP’s “Karn Evil 9: First Impressions.” Surprisingly, Greg Lake was the crowd favorite. He received standing ovations for all three of his songs. Even a tepid and out of key “Lucky Man” brought the crowd to its feet. Sheila E. was the most dazzling front-person of the lot. She led the group through a jazzy, souped-up version of   “Love Bazaar” that culminated in a full on Prince worthy jam. If that’s not strange enough for you, picture Ringo Starr laying down a funk beat as Sheila is behind a percussion kit. Now imagine Ian Hunter and Greg Lake singing these words, “she wants to lead a glamorous life, she don’t need a man’s touch.” It was a truly surreal show. This went on all night. Sheila playing drums on “I Wanna Be Your Man” and Howard Jones singing backup on “Cleveland Rocks” were other oddities. Howard was truly staggering in the styles he had to emulate. Convincing performances of ELP’s prog-rock, Ian’s honky-tonk laced tunes, Sheila’s jazzy funk and his own ‘80s synth-pop made him the musical glue tonight. Late show highlights included Roger’s “Take The Long Way Home” and a rocking Ian-led version of “All The Young Dudes.” Ringo was more the MC than the star of the show. His ease and clever quick wit were intact as he interacted with audience members and band mates. His voice is (to put it as nicely as possible) not all that strong, but his imminently likable manner made set closer “With A Little Help From My Friends” just as huge and fun a sing-a-long as can be. Everyone loves Ringo. Obviously, someone or something up there must, too, because despite the immediate threat of horrible weather all night, not a drop of rain fell on Ringo or his crowd. It’s never rained on him yet.

Chris McKay/concertshots.com


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Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band Set List (8-13-01)

1. Photograph (Ringo)

2. Act Naturally (Ringo)

3. In The Court Of The Crimson King (Greg Lake)

4. The Logical Song (Roger Hodgson)

5. No One Is To Blame (Howard Jones)

6. Cleveland Rocks (Ian Hunter)

7. Love Bazaar (Sheila E.)

8. Boys (Ringo)

9. Give A Little Bit (Roger Hodgson)

10. You're 16 (Ringo)

11. Yellow Submarine (Ringo)

12. Karn Evil 9: First Impressions (Greg Lake)

13. I'm The Greatest (Ringo)

14. The No No Song (Ringo)

15. Back Off Boogaloo (Ringo)

16. Things Can Only Get Better (Howard Jones)

17. I Still Love Rock 'N Roll (Ian Hunter)

18. The Glamorous Life (Sheila E.)

19. I Wanna Be Your Man (Ringo)

20. Lucky Man (Greg Lake)

21. Everlasting Love (Howard Jones)

22. Take The Long Way Home (Roger Hodgson)

23. All The Young Dudes (Ian Hunter)

24. It Don't Come Easy (Ringo)

25. Don't Go Where The Road Don't Go (Ringo)

26. With A Little Help From My Friends (Ringo)

I chose this show as my #9 favorite performance of 2001. Ringo was as loveable as ever, but his bizarre combination of band members is what made this show so cool. Where else could you hear Ringo sing "You're Sixteen," Greg Lake doing "In The Court Of The Crimson King," Roger Hodgson of Supertramp knocking out "The Logical Song," Sheila E. giving "The Glamorous Life," Ian Hunter croaking "All The Young Dudes," Howard Jones crooning "No One Is To Blame" and the lot of them happily closing the night with "A Little Help From My Friends"? This was flat-out fun.