My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the Ringo Starr concert last week, and I anticipated reading the local media reviews. In my view, D.J. Palladino gets a few things correct regarding the concert; what he gets mostly wrong are the expectations of the concertgoers: Most of us who paid the admission did so simply for an evening of live, world-class rock and roll, led by a guy we had wanted to see in-person since the 1960s.

And this is exactly what we got, and more: a Class A “celebrity buzz” from seeing Ringo Starr live on stage (and from the very small chance that The Other Living Beatle might show up). We heard amazing musicianship from guys who led the ’70s-’80s Power Rock Era and are still at the top of their game — hammering out note-perfect arrangements of Utterly Famous Songs just different enough from the original versions (especially the version of Toto’s “Africa”) to be intriguing. Taking musical chances’? Not gonna happen at a concert like this. And that is a good thing. Concertgoers received enough cheap thrills hearing Richard Page’s still-perfect voice crafting the much-maligned (at least by the reviewer) “Kyrie.” And despite what you think, Ringo’s Bowl audience did gain “insight”: Among many other virtues, the concert was an homage to those who remain masters of their craft. And all for the price of dinner for two at Los Agaves.

Which brings me to the reviewer’s snarky tone. True, this attitude sells well here in Santa Barbara, but the All Starr concert deserves better. Applying a similar level of snarkiness to your review: “Those who can, play great music. Those who can’t, write music reviews.” If you writing were as memorable as Mr. Page’s voice, you would be channeling J.D. Salinger.


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