After recording the latest Mr. Big album, “The Stories We Could Tell“, Mr. Big drummer Pat Torpey was replaced by Matt Starr on this tour as a result of his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Torpey and Starr worked together in rehearsals to get the drum parts correct for the shows. Starr is a very accomplished drummer and, given the situation, is a very suitable replacement for Pat.
Opening with Daddy Lover, Brother, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song), the band proceeded to rock through hits of their catalog and were essentially a 5 piece band for the evening with the inclusion of Torpey during the show (“MR. BIGGER”?).
The general overall vibe of the entire venue was fantastic and it made for a nice long set of Mr. Big classics, newer songs and a few cool cover tunes to boot.
Along with the powerful vocals of Eric Martin (who worked the crowd well) and guitar and bass wizardry provided by Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan, fans were thrilled to see Pat take an active part in this show, where he and Matt took turns on the drum kit and performed a few songs together.
Over the course of the show, Pat ended up playing drums, percussion, sang backups and lead delivered a very emotional and inspirational speech where he discussed his condition and acknowledged the fans for their support and he even covered Judas Priest‘s Living After Midnight, which also saw Paul Gilbert take over on drums, Eric Martin on the bass and Matt Starr and Billy Sheehan sharing guitar duties. It was fun and exciting to watch them all swap out for a song (similar to what they did at The Canyon Club a few years ago for Smoke On The Water.)
Some of the other highlights of the show included the patented, trademark shredding of Sheehan and Gilbert trading off leads with one another and in their solo spots.
Whether fans traveled 5 minutes or halfway around the globe, this was definitely a show to remember.