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Friday, January 25, 2008

Ringo Starr Live at House of Blues on Sunset

Ringo Starr played a show earlier today at the House of Blues on Sunset. As I previously reported, I was going to attend. And, as I write this today, I did attend. As I did with McCartney at Amoeba, I have blogged the day. Below is my thoughts. Enjoy!

9:55 a.m.: I have finally arrived in line. I was "here" earlier, but I couldn't find a place to park. The valet was not open yet and a couple lots on Sunset were closed. I was forced to park two blocks down on Alta Loma (I think). The line is actually small. I'm probably like the 20th person here. Maybe, I'll get a good spot?

10:03 a.m.: There's a much different feeling in the air today than McCartney. It's very rainy, wet (obviously), and cold. I couldn't find an umbrella anywhere (Lady at Ralph's laughed at me), but I did remember about an old raincoat I owned. So, I'm wearing that. I'm currently standing next to two sisters, Marilyn and Renee. One is probably 30 or so, the other has to be close to 50. Just a guess...

10:24 a.m.: Two words: very unpleasant.

10:39 a.m.: It's funny how there is this Beatle "community". Every show you see the same damn people. I don't recognize anyone, but I see people pass by and say hello to one another like they've been to these shows before. Not really sure if I want to be a part of it. Everyone knows everything The Beatles and is their biggest fan. Blah, blah, blah. I have an unwritten rule about these events. Don't brag about who you saw when and what collectibles you own. Most people don't give a shit (myself included).

11:15 a.m.: The doors were SUPPOSED to open at 11. Surprise, suprise. Still waiting... Please! It's fucking cold.

11:55 a.m.: The place is slowly filling up. Believe it or not, I'm in the second row. Damn close, but damn tight. I'm worried about my oxygen supply. Some woman just gave me a dirty look while I'm writing this. I wonder if she realizes that while she is staring at my "sexy" body that I'm writing about her. I think she just gave me a wink. Wait. It was for the guy next to me. Damn...

12:27 p.m.: A "fight" for a Beatles concert is about to erupt. It's about some guy to my left and how he cut everyone. His girlfriend is trying to defend him, but it's not looking good. Security has been called and people are yelling. I feel a bit overwhelmed by all this. Although, what is a concert without some verbal or physical altercation.

12:51 p.m.: Place is getting more energetic. You can feel it in the air. About 10 minutes away.

12:59 p.m.: A minute away (maybe). People are yelling, "Ringo!" Another person yell, "What's my name?" Everyone yells, "Ringo!"

1:00 p.m.: The screen that they were showing videos is slowly going up. Showtime! Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart have entered the stage. Ringo is wearing this designer t-shirt and he has a blazer that is threaded with either silver or diamonds. Looking very spiffy. Dave is wearing a shirt with the top couple buttons undone, tight leather pants, and three or four huge silver rings. I don't even know what I would call that outfit. Maybe unforgettable. Three chairs are on the stage. There is another man who looks like will be doing an interview. Apparently, this is not just a concert or "party" as likes to call it.

1:02 p.m.: This is reminding me a bit of VH1 Storytellers. You know when an artist talks to the crowd and plays music. I don't know if it's going to be start and stop, but Ringo is talking about the new album, Liverpool 8.

1:15 p.m.: The music begins. Ringo starts off with "Photograph". Dave Stewart is extremely flamboyant (P.S. Is he gay or bisexual? I don't care, but he just comes off that way.). He has a crazy, shiny silver guitar. Very flashy. The strap reads, "Guitar Lives". The crowd is very hot for the music and getting into it.

(Editor's Note: Due to the show and the tight quarters, I was unable to get out my notepad and write anything. After "Photograph", Ringo played "Liverpool 8", "Boys", and "With a Little Help From My Friends".)

1:30 p.m.: Ringo and the band thank everyone for coming and leave the stage. Show over? Shorter than I thought. I guessed about an hour. He played music for 15 minutes!? Everyone is confused. Chants of "Ringo" are all over the building. People want at least one more song. Not happening. PA announces that the show is over. Lights go up and equipment is being taken down.

Overall Thoughts
I admire the fact that Ringo tried to duplicate McCartney's success at Amoeba this past June, but sadly he failed miserably. First and foremost, I admire the man as a musician and everything he has done. He was part of the greatest band in the history of mankind. Still, after going to now my third concert (2003 and 2006) of his, I always leave with a bitter sweet taste in my mouth. I know he is NOT Paul McCartney. And, I'm sure if Lennon and Harrison (not counting the '74 tour) toured, he would probably NOT be them either. That doesn't discredit him as a performer, it is just you have to realize what you're going to get. Basically, lower your expectations.

Part of my issue with this show was that people waited in the cold rain for a couple hours. I'm guessing the first people were there around 8:30 or so. That means roughly three hours in not ideal weather. No one could even sit down on the ground since it was so wet. Then, we had to stand in the cramped House of Blues for over an hour. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and I'm 22 years old. So I ask, why not play a couple more songs? Play it for the fans who waited for hours to see you.

Also it's a Liverpool 8 release party, yet he plays only one song from the album? Come on, Ringo, you could do better than that. It's his best album in a while, so show it off. I didn't expect him to play a full concert, but everyone there seemed a little disappointed. A couple people very close to me also said, "Four songs?!" So, it's not like I was the only "disappointed" Beatle fan there today. I left today with the feeling that Ringo wants to continue to embrace his status as a Beatle, yet he fails deliver what comes along with it.

I hope he can continue to perform and make music for many years to come (he's 67). And, I don't want to listen to people comment how I'm not a Beatles fan. I am and honestly, I'll probably go see him in concert again if he tours. I enjoy the nostalgia trip and respect everything he has done. I just personally felt like he could have had a better show, party, or whatever it was called.

(Editor's Note 2: From my research Dave Stewart is apparently straight. I guess he just has a sense of style. All power to him. The guy has a lot of talent.)


Anonymous said...

I was at the show today too and your description of events is spot on. The only thing missing is that it was a ridiculous $15 to valet park at the HOB. Also the whole event was run poorly. I was in line about 10:15 so not far back. At some point in the SECOND line we had to stand in, HOB staff decided to split the line in the middle, letting a lot of people who were in line behind me in first. The staff at HOB I found generally unpleasant and they did not seem to know how to handle this event. I also saw Paul at Ameboa in June and for a record store to do a better job of and be more considerate to a crowd seemed odd.
That said, the Songs Ringo performed were fantastic, his band was really tight. Dave Stewart and Ann Marie Calhoun were incredible.
However four songs was a shock...after waiting out in the cold and rain and getting abuse, it seemed like a slap. I was so disappointed. I know it was a free concert...if you don't count the $15 valet and $5 tip and 2 drinks at $17...which I do...but the fact that we were out there, dedicated, made the effort to either call a radio station, purchase a cd or usb from ameboa at $16.95 for cd for a ticket then wait in the cold rain for hours and have them not let us in till nearly noon when we were supposed to be let in at 11 is really poor planning and patron/guest management.
That all for 4 songs, which were really fantastic...and yes I am a beatle fan. This was just a poorly planned, run and executed concert on the part of HOB and on Ringo for not giving his fans a little more. I would have no complaints of Ringo if he had done even 8 songs...and it kind of would have tied in with the name of his album!

Mikey Filmmaker said...

Well, I'm glad I'm not alone on this train of thought. Thanks for the comment!

P.S. At least we both can cherish the concert at Amoeba which is the best concert I've ever been to.