After a very pleasant, traffic-free two hour drive up from Sacramento, my wife Cece and I arrived at the Konocti about 6:30 PM. Doors didn't open up until 7:30 for the posted 8:00 PM showtime, and since we had reserved seats, no waiting in line. We decided to grab a bite at the Classic Rock Cafe. Suddenly, an imposing figure in a bright yellow jacket comes strolling through the lobby. "There goes Todd!" I exclaim, in my clichéd way. Cece calls out "Hi Todd!" and he makes a half turn a sends a greeting her way and continues on into the cafe.
We are seated ourselves and notice him at the counter, awaiting his order. He's talking with some of the Konocti staff, so we choose not to disturb him. While waiting for our order, his to-go order arrives, and he manages to spill his coffee/espresso on his yellow jacket before leaving.
A brief greeting from Romo as he spies us in the cafe, and he's off to check out his room. We finish up our meal and decide to stroll on over to the Classic Rock Lounge. We're seated in the front balcony, which offers a close view of the stage, but from the disadvantagepoint of the side of the hall. 8:00 rolls around and no show. 8:30, and the hall host introduces a few local VIPs in the crowd, and finally warm-up act comedian Bruce Baum (SP?). After about 30 minutes of reasonably funny humor, we anticipate the arrival of the All-Starr band. About 9:20 a local DJ comes on and indicates 10 more minutes of wait time.
Finally, 9:30, the band comes on stage and begins the strains of "It Don't Come Easy." I scribble down the title, and settle in for what I expect to be a great show. I am not disappointed. The band is tight, backup vocals are great, Timmy Capello is awesome on the sax. TR is curiously subdued.
The show moves into "Act Naturally," and Todd once again returns to the country sound he left behind on "Range War." Ringo greets the crowd, and Todd removes his jacket. Looks like he'll be cookin' tonight.
The All-Starrs now get a chance to shine, and first up is Gary Brooker, launching into "Whiskey Train." I'm one of those Procol Harum listeners whose experience only includes "Conquistador" and "Whiter Shade of Pale" so I'm unfamiliar with it, but recognize it by title from earlier reviews. The song rocks, and the crowd loves it.
Gary introduces the next All-Starr, Simon Kirke, and "Shooting Star" begins. I look to Cece, who bears with me through so many TR concerts, and she's singing along. Finally, a concert with songs she knows! Simon wraps it up and introduces Jack Bruce. Todd's on the SG and the song is "Sunshine Of Your Love." Bruce cooks, the extended bass solos are hot, and the crowd is in a frenzy. Most are on their feet at the end. I'm thinking to myself. "That's freakin' Jack Bruce on the stage!" Jack introduces Todd and "I Saw The Light" is his featured number.
Ringo returns to the forefront and introduces "the first song I did with the Beatles." The song is "Boys" and it's another crowd pleaser. "Love Me Do" follows with Timmy taking the John Lennon harmonica parts, but as Romo indicated, the song didn't quite sound the same with the Ringo lead vocals. The final song in the Ringo set was "Yellow Submarine" and the whole place was singing along.
Time again for the All-Starrs, and Ringo turns it all over to the band, leaving the stage. "Conquistador" is the new number, followed by "Hammer In My Heart" with Todd on the SG. Todd nails the guitar solo, but it's evident that the crowd is not too familiar with the tune. Capello bangs the electronic percussion to supply the hammer sound.
Ringo returns with a song written for him by his "sadly departed" friend: the John Lennon-penned "I'm the Greatest" followed by the "No No Song." Finally he curiously announces that they are going to do "Get Back" but in reality it's "Back Off Boogaloo."
More All-Starrs shining with "I Feel Free" and an inspired "All Right Now." Todd wails. Ringo returns with "I Wanna Be Your Man" and then indicates that he'd like to showcase the multiple talents of one of the band members. It's "Bang The Drum All Day" and Todd is manic on the drums. Ringo and Simon and Timmy also supply percussion. Gary and Jack round it out. Todd once again straps on the SG and "White Room" fills the room. Another crowd pleaser. Gary's turn brings "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and Ringo indicates afterwards that it's one of the greatest songs of all time.
Ringo once again takes the front of the stage and "Photograph" is the closer. The band leaves and wild applause ensues to bring them back. They return with "You're Sixteen" and finally, "With A Little Help From My Friends." The song brings everyone to their feet, and the show is over. Two hours of solid entertainment.
A post-show stopover at Romo & Kurt's room to check out TRTV and who shows up online but TR-i his own self. By this time, it's 12:30 AM PST, so the room is empty, and we trade off chatting with Todd, trying to entice him to come by for a Redrum mixed cocktail. But Todd's anxious to hit the sack, his back is sore from the bus ride, so we bid him goodbye. And Cece and I have to bid Romo & Kurt goodbye as well, as we face the two-hour drive back home...