Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band bring a night of rock 'n' roll fun to Ames

Matthew Leimkuehler | Des Moines Register | 11:14 am CDT September 6, 2018
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Peace, love and a good time. That's the Ringo Starr way to throw a show. 

The former Beatle and passionate peace advocate brought his All Starr Band to Ames Wednesday for a one-night only show celebrating some of the biggest songs from the 1960s, '70s, '80s and beyond. 

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band perform at Stephens Auditorium in Ames Sept. 5, 2018.
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff Photo

Playing to a sold out crowd of roughly of 2,700 inside Stephens Auditorium, Richard "Ringo Starr" Starkey and company brought to life a 24-song, two-hour set of timeless and unquestionably fun rock 'n' roll hits. 

The show marked the fourth in a monthlong run of dates for the All Starr Band, the famed drummer's 13th installment of a touring super group he founded in 1989. 

Acting naturally: Starr kept the show lighthearted and entertaining, interacting with his audience ("I love you, too," he replied to multiple cries of affection during the set) and swaying his hips from side-to-side with each song he fronted. 

He entered to "Matchbox," a Carl Perkins number covered by the Beatles in 1964 (fun fact: Starr played Stephens on the 50th anniversary of the day he rejoined the Beatles in the studio, for "White Album" sessions, following a brief period where he quit the group). 

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Starr stayed on lead vocals for a few cuts, following the show opener with 1973 solo single "It Don't Come Easy" and 1965 Beatles number "What Goes On." 

He's candid and, yes, a little goofy behind the microphone — embracing the lovable, high-spirited persona that's captivated generations of followers. 

"Peace and love to all you guys way up there," he said, pointing to the room's top section. "Thought there’d be plenty of tickets left, didn’t you?" 

Cheeky, Ringo! 

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band perform at Stephens Auditorium in Ames Sept. 5, 2018.
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff Photo

Get by with the All Starr Band: The All Starr Band features chart-topping classic rock and pop songwriters. It's a pleasing set, in part because the supporting cast comes ready to take the spotlight at any moment. 

How it worked: Starr did a few numbers, got behind the kit and tossed frontman duties to Graham Gouldman, who led a rendition of 10cc's "Dreadlock Holiday." He sent the spotlight to keyboardist Gregg Rolie and a take on Santana's "Evil Ways."

The show then went to Steve Lukather and an extended jam of Toto's "Rosanna." Can't forget Colin Hay, either. He followed Lukather by offering up Men at Work's 1980 track "Down Under." 

And that's in the first half-hour. 

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Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band perform at Stephens Auditorium in Ames Sept. 5, 2018.
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff Photo

This works because it's like a fantasy draft for classic rock players that's come to life. Where else would you get Ringo Starr playing the high hat during the chorus of Toto's "Africa"? Or Steve Lukather ripping Santana's solo during "Black Magic Woman"?

It's a la carte classic rock with Starr as the lead chef. 

A peaceful farewell: The set closes with a triple dose of peace and love from the seven-piece band, starting with 1973's "Photograph" and the Beatles' take on "Act Naturally," a Buck Owens country number from 1963. 

It's from there that Starr finishes the set with “With A Little Help From My Friends." He led the band and each audience members through the timeless chorus of "I get by with a little help from my friends," a notion that stands as true in 2018 as it did when Sgt. Pepper and his band debuted it in 1967. 

Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band perform at Stephens Auditorium in Ames Sept. 5, 2018.
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff Photo

Starr exists the stage as the All Starr Band leads a stand-alone chorus of "Give Peace A Chance." 

"Remember, peace and love," Starr said, bidding farewell. "Thanks for coming out and thanks for having a good time." 

Ringo Starr and his All Starr band setlist 

Matchbox 
It Don’t Come Easy
What Goes On
Dreadlock Holiday (10cc)
Evil Ways (Santana)
Rosanna (Toto)
Down Under (Men at Work)
Boys
Don’t Pass Me By
Yellow Submarine
I’m Not in Love (10cc)
Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Santana)
You’re Sixteen
Anthem
Overkill (Men at Work)
Africa (Toto)
Oye como va (Santana)
I Wanna Be Your Man
The Things We Do For Love (10cc)
Who Can It Be Now? (Men at Work)
Hold the Line (Toto)
Photograph
Act Naturally
With A Little From My Friends/Give Peace A Chance

Originally Published 12:53 am CDT September 6, 2018
Updated 11:14 am CDT September 6, 2018
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