Los Angeles-based Toto have been on their 25th Anniversary tour for more than two years and they make no apologies about serving their tried and tested set of hit songs over the years. Their stated objective on this tour was to play medleys and old songs since the original voice, in the shape of Bobby Kimball, is back.
Stage left keyboards. Stage right drum kit with two kick drums. Centre stage empty except for a mic. That space is left there to be dominated by Steve Lukather. Calling themselves a musicians' musician's band, what stood out throughout their one hour 45 minutes set on Feb 11 was the commanding stage presence of the lead guitarist.
The almost-sold-out crowd was called to stand up and head to the front by Lukather after their first song. Singing duties were shared with Kimball going for the higher register classic '70s-style vocals and keyboardist David Paich handling vocals on their hit Africa. The highlight for this writer was Hold The Line.
There was a moment of concern when the tempo slowed down and a soft ballad was played to allow the crowd to sing along, but Toto never allowed the energy level to drop ensuring that it was followed up by a louder song.
focus on individual solos in a rock show spotlighted some rather ordinary
sounding drum playing by Simon Phillips (the British drummer was introduced
by a short riff of Rule Brittania by keyboardist Paich). The dynamic shift
was obvious when the spotlight moved to Lukather on just an acoustic guitar.
The crowd sang along to I'll Be Over You and were on their feet for every
other song, clapping along to Georgy Porgy and Child's Anthem. Toto ended
the night with Rosanna, and were called back to play a last song which
they dedicated to world peace. Vijay Ramani
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