Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
It’s pretty much documented that the Greek is the best small outdoor amphitheater in America. Over the last 20+ years. I’ve seen some incredible shows in this fine theater.
I hadn’t had a chance to get to the Greek yet this year, so this was a great show to start off with.
It was pretty hot here today. It was still close to 90 degrees in the afternoon, but it was a pleasure to hang at the Greek before this show. When I saw Matt Sorum pull up next to me, I was hoping he’d hop up on stage at some point. I kept seeing people like Edgar Winter cruising around the venue, so I knew the stars were out, for sure…
Ringo Starr (drums, keyboards, vocals) is not my favorite Beatle, but he is a total legend- “Yellow Submarine” is a masterpiece and Caveman is one of the best movies of its time and, possibly, ever. He was so energetic and really brought it on the last show of the tour. At 72, there’s no denying that he still has it.
This is his twelfth band touring and out of all of them, this may very well be the best one yet. This band is pretty unbeatable:
The show started right around 7:30 PM and opened with “Matchbox” by Carl Perkins. The show just kept getting better and better.
The songs by Ringo and the Beatles were great- “Don’t Pass Me By”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Anthem”, “I’m the Greatest”, “It Don’t Come Easy”, “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Photograph”, and “Give Peace a Chance”.
Ringo sang and occasionally played drums. Richard Page was definitely the best singer of the evening and Steve Lukather just lit it up on the guitar. The entire band was on fire. The band blazed through roughly 25 songs- a night to remember. Every song was a lot of fun and it truly was an incredible show!
Todd Rundgren (guitar, harmonica, bass, percussion, vocals) was an original “Allstar” and also played in the second year and fifth year band. I saw him with The New Cars quite a few times and consider him one of the best replacements of any band. I wish The New Cars were still around. We’ll get 3 songs from Todd tonight- “I Saw the Light”, “Bang the Drum All Day”, and “Love Is the Answer” (Utopia). We hung out next to his MT at the show- she was really cool.
Returning from last year’s band is Richard Page (from Mr. Mister on bass, guitar, vocals). Last year, I came across his album with Third Matinee- it’s phenomenal (I highly recommend this CD). In many ways, it does kind of pick up where Kevin Gilbert left off. He played “Broken Wings”, “Kyrie”, and “You Are Mine”- a new song that is really good. Richard was in top form on the basss and vocals- and his tuens were crystal clear.
Two great additions are Steve Lukather (guitar, vocals) and Gregg Rolie on keyboards and vocals . Steve is a monster on the guitar and I honestly had no idea Gregg Rolie was still around, but cool- he was in the original Journey and Santana! “Africa”, “Hold the Line”, “Everybody’s Everything” (Santana) and “Black Magic Woman” (Fleetwood Mac) were easily 4 of the best songs in the set.
Gregg Bissonette (drums, vocals) has been a member since 2008. I saw Gregg play for David Lee Roth a long time ago and again recently at The House of Blues and he is definitely one of the best. His drumming on the live ELO DVD is incredible. I never should have loaned that out- I haven’t seen it since. It was cool to see Jeff Lynne there are the end of the show. Gregg did an outstanding job on the drum kit for the show.
Mark Rivera – saxophone, percussion, vocals, has played in almost every Allstar band since the third installment in 1995 (he took over for Clarence Clemons) and has been in Billy Joel’s band since 1982. He also did the some of the horn sections for Peter Gabriel’s “So” album- he’s responsible for the huge punchy sound of “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time”. While the least known of the band, he’s definitely one of the most talented in it.
There were SO many special guests/ extra friends/ allstars- from Joe Walsh to Edgar Winter to Jeff Lynne to Jack Bruce to Matt Sorum to Peter Frampton and many more such as Micky Dolenz, Tal Wilkenfeld, Gary Wright, Jim Keltner (who played drums), Keith Allison, Corey Feldman and Bud Cort, this show completely rocked.