Ringo Starr should find a new Fave Five, create a new Facebook page or raid someone else's Rolodex.
His 10th incarnation of Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, which performed Monday at the sold-out Mystic Lake Casino Showroom, is full of B- and C-list two-hit wonders who have toured with him before. What they delivered was an emotionally fun but musically underwhelming 130-minute show. The seven-man band, which performed like a classic-rock jukebox, managed to sound underrehearsed and tired at the same time.
That didn't happen on earlier All Starr tours when Ringo enlisted such A-listers as Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh, Dr. John, Billy Preston, Sheila E and Cream's Jack Bruce. This time, Gary Wright, the lone newcomer to the All Starr lineup, sounded ragged vocally on "Dream Weaver," Edgar Winter sounded freakishly off-pitch on "Free Ride" and Hamish Stuart of Average White Band sounded like a wanna-be barroom singer.
To borrow a throwaway joke from Stuart, this band should have been called the Average White Trash Men at Work.
Colin Hay made Men at Work's "Who Can It Be Now" work, and singer-guitarist Billy Squier rocked the house like a heavy-metal dude at a pop festival with "Lonely Is the Night" and "The Stroke," to the delight of the air guitar players in the front row.
What made the night, of course, was Ringo, who started this All-Starr concept in 1989. At 68, he remains an irrepressible charmer, with a quick if silly wit, a friendly smile and a disarmingly cheery peace symbol (by my unofficial count, he flashed the flying V fingers 42 times). He playfully picked on people in the audience as well as lovingly acknowledged individuals including a man waving a 1973 "Ringo" LP, which made the man's wife swoon.
Mostly standing front and center, Ringo sang a dozen songs, some from his ''previous band,'' as he explained, and some from his solo career. The Beatles tunes were predictably spirited crowd-pleasers, especially the sing-along "Yellow Submarine," "With a Little Help from My Friends" and "Boys," on which he played drums. (Also on drums was session veteran Greg Bissonette, who has played with everyone from Clay Aiken to Ozzy Osbourne.) Ringo was especially heartfelt on "Liverpool 8," the title song of his new CD, and "Never Without You," which he dedicated to the late George Harrison.
Here's a suggestion for the next All Starr tour: Ringo should pick a Fave Five from that other B list -- Dhani Harrison, Julian and Sean Lennon, Zak Starkey and Paul Whatshisname.
Jon Bream • 612-673-1719