The Kindness of Strangers

Review by Grady Moates (Switch to

Although I had high hopes, I had no chance. My significant other had delayed so long deciding which night of the Mohegan Ringo show to go see, tickets for both nights were sold out. I found a scalper who, with 2 weeks' notice, could get me two seats about fifteen rows back, center, for $200 each (gulp), and had given my credit card number. Two days before the show, when I had not received the tickets, I was told, "Oh, Josh booked that, and he couldn't get the tickets. But that's OK, he didn't run your card. You'll have to call him Monday." Yeah, right.

Well, Mohegan is a gambling casino, right? So we just drove down there for the afternoon/evening, gambling that somehow, we'd get in. I made some pretty, laserjetprinted flourescent orange signs that said, "I NEED TWO RINGO TICKETS", and wore them on my red blazer with the blue and silver TR-i lapel button. 20 minutes before the show, a fellow in a TR Tee walked up and said, "I had two friends who couldn't make it. Here are the tickets. I reached into my pocket for a $100 bill, then grabbed my billfold to get another $20 or two for good measure, and was told, "All is want is face value. I can't scalp you, that wouldn't be fair." Nothing I could say or do would convince this person to let me show my appreciation. In a room with maybe ten or twelve people looking for tickets, this guy picked me.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

What a show. Todd was, as has been mentioned before, doing ten different styles of lead and rhythm guitar, and doing them all VERY WELL. When he did slide guitar for Back Off Boogaloo I was nearly incapable of suspension of disbelief.

The peak of the show for me, however, was when Gary Brooker said, "The article in the paper today about last night's show said we should have done this one, so here it is. . ." and then played (OH WOW!!) _A Salty Dog_, with Todd doing whale songs on his guitar. I had never heard this favorite of mine live, and it BLEW ME AWAY!

Every tune was done justice except for _Love Me Do_, which seemed to drag and be very clumsy and deliberate. Todd's guitar work on the Cream material (Sunshine of Your Love, I Feel Free, White Room) was suitably respectful to Eric's work. . . Early in each lead break, it seemed that TR purposefully underplayed the parts a little, rather than trying to mimic the exact riffs, only to come back later in the tune and play the riffs we expected earlier with flourish and grace. Jack and TR seemed to have a great time playing off each other's phrasing. Vocal harmonies were lovely, again with TR doing a good job of recapturing Eric's deliveries from three decades ago (I know, I was at the last American Cream concert in Baltimore, MD, and it's etched indelibly in my mind, something to do with chemical augmentation, I think).

I was so stunned at the kindness shown me by the guy in the ToddTee that I didn't think to ask his name until he was gone. I hoped he'd be sitting next to us in the hall, but no.

Other reviews for Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band
2/20/1999 - Mohegan Sun Casino - Uncasville, CT

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