Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band will shine at Fox Theatre

The iconic drummer and his bandmates will land in Atlanta on Sept. 27 as part of a countrywide tour.

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Ringo Starr says he’s “ready to rock.”

The perpetually youthful 83-year-old Beatles legend definitely looks the part. A constellation of blue stars decorate his denim jacket, the focal point of Starr’s all-black ensemble. With shades shrouding his eyes, the world’s most famous drummer looks remarkably fit, likely due to his vegetarian diet and appetite for exercise.

And rock he will. Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band have started the fall leg of a 2023 tour with more than 40 shows across the country. That includes a Sept. 27 stop at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Credit: Ryan Fleisher

Despite a couple of COVID-19-related stops and restarts during last year’s tour, Ringo and company remain optimistic that the All Starr Band’s show will consistently stay on the road. In fact, nothing’s been able to stop Starr’s band since its formation in 1989.

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band is a grand, greatest-hits affair featuring the drummer performing alongside a group of stellar musicians with their own impressive pedigrees. The show shuffles select songs from Starr’s Beatles and solo catalog with trademark tunes from the respective players.

Through the years, members of classic rock outfits like The Who, The Eagles and The Band have held spots. Todd Rundgren, Peter Frampton and Sheila E., along with late greats such as Billy Preston and Dr. John, are just a few of the many former All Starrs.

In the past, each time Starr would hit the road, he would rotate the lineup.

“We did it that way for 20 years,” Starr said during an online press conference at the start of the tour, “because that’s what I thought I had to do: change the band. But (the current) band is good for me.”

With the exception of a few small tweaks to the roster, the All Starr Band has remained virtually the same since 2019, which makes things “easier,” Starr said.

The audience at the upcoming Atlanta show can expect Steve Lukather to revisit chart busters from his Toto tenure (“Africa,” “Rosanna,” “Hold the Line”). Men at Work’s Colin Hay will take the audience to the land down under with “Who Can It Be Now” and other 1980s pop staples.

Credit: Scott Robert Ritchie

Credit: Scott Robert Ritchie

Hamish Stuart of the Average White Band will lead the group in a funkier direction with “Pick Up the Pieces.” And Edgar Winter will tap classics like “Frankenstein” while breaking the typical All Starr Band mold by adding a more recent track. His interpretation of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” which appeared on the 2022 Grammy-winning album “Brother Johnny,” will make the cut.

Session drummer Gregg Bissonette and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ham round out the band.

And then there’s Starr, whose contributions account for nearly half of the typical 24-song set.

His highlights will include a tip of the hat to the Beatles’ mop top days (“Boys,” “I Wanna Be Your Man”), songs from the Fab Four’s psychedelic era (“Yellow Submarine,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Octopus’s Garden”) and some of Starr’s solo standouts (“Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy”).

“I was trained to be a studio musician since I was a teenager,” Lukather said. “So I love the challenge of playing other people’s music. I have more fun playing their stuff than mine. … Plus, playing all of the great Ringo hits and Beatles stuff never gets old. … It’s just a joy. This is not work. This is a vacation as far as I’m concerned.”

Ringo and the rest of the All Starrs point out that their versions of one another’s songs aren’t carbon copies of the originals. Although they’re not purposefully trying to alter the source material, their chemistry as a band allows them to put their own stamp on each number.

Credit: Scott Robert Ritchie

Credit: Scott Robert Ritchie

“It doesn’t sound like any other band,” Hay said. “And the more you play (together), it gets more finessed and more nuanced and more fun, to be honest.”

Starr himself is the first to admit how much he enjoys the collaboration, synergy and freedom to explore.

“It’s a band thing,” Starr said. “I love being in a band. It may have my name, but I’m in this band.”

Yet there’s no denying the Starr of the show. The fact that they’re backing a Beatle is something Starr’s bandmates never forget. Winter recalls that the first time he played his song “Free Ride” with the All Starr Band, he turned around and couldn’t believe it was Ringo jamming on drums.

For Starr, it’s not about basking in rock star royalty. At the core, he said, he just wants to continue his lifelong desire to be a working musician.

In October, he’s set to release a four-song EP “Rewind Forward,” featuring a song written by fellow surviving Beatle, Paul McCartney. According to press reports, Starr and McCartney have promised one final Beatles track by year’s end featuring newly recorded parts by the duo, combined with archival contributions from late bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison. And 2024 will find Starr releasing yet another EP, this time exploring country music with producer T Bone Burnett.

In the meantime, he’ll keep playing on the road with the All Starr Band.

“When the tour was put together, (our producer) gave us too many days off,” Starr said. “So I complained. … If I’m on the road, I want to play. I don’t want to sit in a hotel and relax for three days. I want to get out there and play. … It’s what I do. I love to play. I love to play with great musicians. And I love to play great songs. And I get all of that from these guys.”


Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band

8 p.m. Sept. 27. Starting at $49.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. 855-285-8499, foxtheatre.org.