Random thoughts on the Ringo show

Review by Lin Sprague (Switch to

I was focusing on Todd the guitarist, since that was his main function in the All Starr Band: Todd playing the competent, covers-playing bar band hack, and having a great time at it! I mean, how many covers bands have played "Sunshine Of Your Love", but imagine playing it with Jack Bruce!? I always thought Todd was heavily influenced by Clapton, especially in his Nazz days. He must have been having a blast, playing that and "I Feel Free" and "White Room" with The Man, and on Clapton's guitar (or a facsimile thereof) no less! He sure looked like he was having fun. They all did.

Todd did a few things I've never seen him do, or at least not for a long time. For one thing, he played through an actual guitar amp on stage, not through a preamp/effects processor into the P.A., like he's done at least since 2nd Wind. He had 2 Mesa Boogie combo amps (a Mark 1 reissue and an Mark 3, I think) and no visible effects except the wah.) Naked guitar! Sounded pretty good, too, although with less variety than his regular setup. He stuck pretty much to a midrangy blues-rock sound most of the night.

He played slide guitar on "Back Off Boogaloo"; I'm not aware of Todd ever playing slide, except for that short bit on "Freak Parade". Sounded cool!

The Wah (the classic Dunlop Cry Baby pedal) for White Room. I think this was Todd's best moment of the night - it was his most extended solo, and he and Bruce were rollin' and tumblin', almost like Cream. Bruce was incredibly aggressive, and Todd was right on his heels.

Todd played 5 guitars that night: the green strat-style that we've all seen before, the Fool SG copy (used for most of the heavier, blusier songs), a tobacco-sunburst or dark brown strat-style with a chrome pick guard (used for slide only), the black Takamine 6-string, and the black Ovation 12 string.

I'm glad to see Todd focusing on guitar playing for a while. No multi- media presentations, no piano distractions, few buttons to press, familiar songs, great players. Maybe he'll feature more guitar in his own music in the near future.

I had an excellent time last night. The casino gave me the creeps, what with the sight of so many people pouring money into those slot machines as fast as they could, and the noise like a swarm of bees in my head. I was glad to get out of there. But the hall was OK, and the sound was acceptable. The company was the best (thanks to Russ and family, John, Kath, and Tom.)

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

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