This was the third show I had seen in person and something came to me early on. I'm sure that with this much musical talent with such storied history there have to be some egos in this band. But every bit of ego is put to the side as each person gives maximum effort on every song whether it's their own song or not. The camaraderie and respect between Luke and Gregg Rolie was clearly evident as Rolie was in awe of Luke especially during the Santana songs. I could only envision Rolie singing "Evil Ways" almost 45 years ago in front of 400,000 people at Woodstock. Rundgren called Luke "Steve Santana" after he ripped through the Santana number "Black Magic Woman". I could once again see Rolie's love and admiration for Luke as he mouthed the word "WOW" after another blistering Luke solo.
Of course Ringo was at the center of attention as the crowd enjoyed every moment of this show. The theme of the night was "brotherhood" as each member referred to one another during the night as "brother". Ringo was a jack of all trades and a master of them all as he was once again part Master of Ceremonies, drummer, singer, keyboardist, comedian, storyteller and played the cajon and tambourine. There was much love from Luke to Ringo as he called him affectionately "El Hefe".
The "Wall of Vocals" that was evident once again as former Mr. Mister singer Page went to heights that were unbelievable. Page has not lost a thing as he mesmerized the crowd on "Broken Wings". Luke added his subtle yet magical touch to this song. The Page/Luke combo was brought to the front again on the new original song "You Are Mine". The crowd was quickly won over on this new to the ears song for most. Luke joked that he was a "Valley Guy" and that Page was a "Malibu Guy" and that they were not supposed to get along. But they have been friends since the start. A bond that has lasted 36 years. A cool moment during "Hey, Hey Boy" was watching Luke, Page and Rundgren share the same single microphone together to accentuate the night's vocals. You could see the gleam in everyone's eyes as the night went on. There was also some sadness as the realization came that this would be the last night that this band of brothers would be together.
Luke was out front and featured on the three biggest Toto hit numbers. Luke told the crowd how he was only 19 years old when he recorded "Hold the Line." Rivera joined in and helped Luke out with some lead vocals as the crowd shout out Luuuuuke at the appropriate times. You could tell the rest of the All Starrs loved this song as they were singing it even when they weren't singing into the microphone. "Africa" started out with a clarinet intro by Rivera. Rivera kicked in again sharing lead vocals with Luke. There was also a very cool extended instrumental outro. The "Wall of Vocals" from the All Starrs shined again as it played a big part on this number along with "Rosanna". "Rosanna" had EVERYONE singing with Luke out front encouraging everyone to join in.
The animated showman Rundgren was even more animated on this farewell show. He was a bundle of energy running up the drum risers for interaction with both Ringo and Bissonette. Rundgren was front and center on his solo song "Bang the Drum All Day" as he actually dig bang the drums! You now had a trio of drummers in action all at once. Both Todd and Luke played acoustic guitar on "Yellow Submarine" the song where young and old joined in singing as this is a Beatles song EVERYONE knows and can sing easily. There was a touching moment during this number as Ringo looked right at a small child in his fathers arms and reciprocated his signature peace sign to the little boy. At that point I imagined how many generations the Beatles and Ringo had entertained.
Gregg Bissonette truly is the backbone of this band. The smooth groove he lays down from start to finish is the glue that holds this team together. The long time All Starr also sings. There are times he is playing in perfect time with Ringo and times he is doing his own thing. Bissonette is just as much of an All Starr as everyone else. The one time Toto drummer sometimes gets lost in the mix to the fun of the mill fan but not to any knowledgeable music fan.
Nils Lofgren the 30 year member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band joined the All Starrs for the final number "A Little Help From My Friends". It was a great finale to the Tour with some tears shed as friendships were made and cemented on this edition of Ringo's All Starrs. I told Luke after the show what a great time I had. Luke told me "working with Ringo is NOT work. This has been one of the most joyful experiences in my life. I have made what will be new lifelong friends in a fantastic band of crazy-brilliant musicians who have made my life better. Ringo is more than I could ever put into words. I love the man. It has been a huge highlight in a pretty fucking interesting and wonderful career. I love all the guys and I look forward to doing it all again."