I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live...

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I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live...

Postby DracIsBack » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:02 am

So, I've seen Toto four times in concert ... twice with Bobby and twice with Joe.

I enjoyed all four concerts and am a bigger fan of Bobby's records than Joe's with the band. But live, I found Bobby painful and thought he was the weak link vocally, especially compared to how the guys played their instruments.

It actually isn't his age or diminished range. Earlier this week, I made a "Toto Live" playlist with my favourite selections from their five live albums. I put them in an order which matched how I thought a "big reunion" type concert should go.

Then it hit me about what really bothers me about Kimball live. Yeah, he's pitchy and off-key and struggles with high notes.

But the big agony is that his voice cracks. A lot! I never really noticed it until he was singing live sandwiched in between songs of Joe singing live. He has the power in his voice, but it often sounds like it's going to break apart with all the cracking it does.

Joe has definitely aged too. he struggles with higher parts and strains sometimes. But his voice is generally much smoother and also very powerful live. And much less pitchy.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby r@y » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:02 pm

DracIsBack wrote:So, I've seen Toto four times in concert ... twice with Bobby and twice with Joe.

I enjoyed all four concerts and am a bigger fan of Bobby's records than Joe's with the band. But live, I found Bobby painful and thought he was the weak link vocally, especially compared to how the guys played their instruments.

It actually isn't his age or diminished range. Earlier this week, I made a "Toto Live" playlist with my favourite selections from their five live albums. I put them in an order which matched how I thought a "big reunion" type concert should go.

Then it hit me about what really bothers me about Kimball live. Yeah, he's pitchy and off-key and struggles with high notes.

But the big agony is that his voice cracks. A lot! I never really noticed it until he was singing live sandwiched in between songs of Joe singing live. He has the power in his voice, but it often sounds like it's going to break apart with all the cracking it does.

Joe has definitely aged too. he struggles with higher parts and strains sometimes. But his voice is generally much smoother and also very powerful live. And much less pitchy.



Pretty much spot on right there, Drac

For me...I never liked the timbre and tone of Bobby's vocals. I dug Luke's and Paich's vocals. And from a lead perspective I'd take Joe and Fergie, every day and twice on a Sunday ! :D

Which is also why Isolation, Fahrenhiet, Seventh One, KoD and XIV remain my favorite Toto records.


P.S. A quick note about Dave....and I am really nitpicking here....his voice was pretty rough in All The Tears, IMO....again, not dissing. Just IMO....perhaps Luke should have taken that song on his own, with Joe on chorus instead....but there was a time, I liked his vocals even compared to Bobby. Never liked Bobby. :P


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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby DracIsBack » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:33 pm

Paich is doing this weird thing with his diction lately. Almost like he's been botoxed and learning how to use the muscles in his face again.

I like All The Tears a lot, but it's the harmonies that shine for me.

I feel very fortunate that - because Toto alumni often come back - to have been able to see David, Luke, Bobby, Joe, and Fergie live ... the Fergie was only for a couple of tunes in the Minneapolis date for Falling In Between tour.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby TotoFan77 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:43 am

DracIsBack, that is strictly your opinion. I don't notice any change and I think Paich sounds amazing. I think his vocals on Live in Poland and XIV are the best he's done in years.

I will say too, I'm getting kind of sick of all the Bobby bashing on this forum. There's just no respect for the guy. Has he struggled vocally for the past few years? Yeah and it's been talked about over and over again. I thought he was great live from 1978 to when he left in 1983 and he was STILL great from when he came back in 1998 until about 2003. It wasn't until 2004 when things started to fall apart vocally. He's the ORIGINAL singer for the band and he had a big impact on the success. I can't picture Hold the Line or Rosanna with a different singer.

And I truly believe that he had a big hand in Africa's success. It's that amazing chorus of his that everyone remembers. Even the people who don't like and know nothing about Toto but KNOW that song, it's Bobby chorus that they always remember and sing. That incredible delivery from Bobby (It's going to take alot to drag me away from you) that EVERYONE remembers! I mean shit, it's Bobby chorus that DJ's are always remixing too.

I gotta be honest, it's disturbing. It's obvious the band hates the guy, his contributions are being downplayed more and more, Luke has insulted him badly in several interviews, and now fans are turning on the guy.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby DracIsBack » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:54 am

TotoFan77 wrote: I don't notice any change and I think Paich sounds amazing. I think his vocals on Live in Poland and XIV are the best he's done in years.


I think he's sounding better lately too, especially compared to the early 2000s. He's more on pitch and a hoot live. But he's definitely doing something different with his diction.


I will say too, I'm getting kind of sick of all the Bobby bashing on this forum. There's just no respect for the guy.


Didn't I say that I preferred his albums with the band? :-)

I thought he was great live from 1978 to when he left in 1983 and he was STILL great from when he came back in 1998 until about 2003.


Don't quite agree there. I think he's better then than we was from the last few years before he left (see the voice cracking comment) but he's always struggled more live, IMO. Lots of singers do. Listen to Girl Goodbye on Livefields. Love that song - probably the most incredible vocal on record of his for me. But live, his voice cracked and choked when he got to the high parts. There are plenty of cuts of him in the 1980s being off key or off pitch. One can never accuse him of holding back though! He always tried, even when he missed.



It wasn't until 2004 when things started to fall apart vocally. He's the ORIGINAL singer for the band and he had a big impact on the success.


Huge.

What I didn't like about Bobby was his "sleazier side". The putting on shows as "Toto". Honestly, if I paid for tickets to "Toto" and Bobby Kimball and some hired guns stepped on the stage, I'd be mad. I didn't like the sleezy way in which he wrote on Fergie's wall a thinly veiled attack over being replaced on Isolation.

I'm also not a big fan of Luke insulting him. He's been nicer in more recent interviews. But he does wear his heart on his sleeve, for good and bad.

What I would like greatly though, is for the guys to put their differences aside and do another round with Joe and Bobby on stage together. They were talking about it falling the Falling In Between Tour with Joe, Bobby and Fergie, but then the band went on hiatus.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby The_Noble_Cause » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:52 am

r@y wrote:For me...I never liked the timbre and tone of Bobby's vocals. I dug Luke's and Paich's vocals. And from a lead perspective I'd take Joe and Fergie, every day and twice on a Sunday ! :D


Out of all the TOTO tenors, the best live concert recordings I ever heard were Joe on the Fahrenheit tour and Fergie on the Isolation tour.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby The_Noble_Cause » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:55 am

DracIsBack wrote:Paich is doing this weird thing with his diction lately. Almost like he's been botoxed and learning how to use the muscles in his face again.

I like All The Tears a lot, but it's the harmonies that shine for me.


Dave is beginning to sound a little bit like Randy Newman. TBH, I wish he sang more on XIV.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby Sundet » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:13 pm

The_Noble_Cause wrote:
Out of all the TOTO tenors, the best live concert recordings I ever heard were Joe on the Fahrenheit tour and Fergie on the Isolation tour.


I fully agree with that, plus Joe's performances since rejoining in 2010. Fergie was much better live than he has usually been given credit for. I think Lukather used to state that he lost his voice etc., but the recordings I have heard from the Isolation tour shows Fergie on fire, although his pitch was sometimes all over the place.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby DracIsBack » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:31 am

Sundet wrote:
The_Noble_Cause wrote:
Out of all the TOTO tenors, the best live concert recordings I ever heard were Joe on the Fahrenheit tour and Fergie on the Isolation tour.


I fully agree with that, plus Joe's performances since rejoining in 2010. Fergie was much better live than he has usually been given credit for. I think Lukather used to state that he lost his voice etc., but the recordings I have heard from the Isolation tour shows Fergie on fire, although his pitch was sometimes all over the place.


Fergie was pretty good. More consistent than Bobby, IMO. I was fortunate enough to see Toto when they did the gig with him at Trocaderos in Minneapolis in 2007.

Wasn't really a "full gig", but rather about 5 songs. He did Isolation and Angel Don't Cry as the lead. Then he did "I'll Supply The Love" where he shared vocals with Bobby. At the end of the show, he came back to sing along with "Africa" and "Drag Him To The Roof", though on the latter, you could tell he didn't really know the song haha.

His voice held up pretty well too. He struggled a bit on the highest of notes but otherwise sounded like I remembered. Cool stage presence too.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby WalrusOct9 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:35 am

DracIsBack wrote:Paich is doing this weird thing with his diction lately. Almost like he's been botoxed and learning how to use the muscles in his face again.





He's been like that for awhile, and I've always wondered why...it's very similar to Brian Wilson's diction issues, but the reasons for that have been well documented.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby brandonx76 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:45 am

The concerns on Bobby are pretty spot on...for me it took an 'outside party' (i.e. a non fan) to hear them perform to say "It kind of sounded off..."

This was during the official Bobby reunion period when they performed during a Los Angeles KLOS/Mark & Brian (friends of the band) Christmas show...had to be circa '98/99...

What doesn't add up (for me) are the comments by band members about the difficulty of recording vocals in the studio with Fergie indicating the experience was 'really difficult' (etc)....

As far as I have heard,Fergie always held up live on the recordings I've heard...

Now, one thing I'll say...Bobby could hit it out of the park in certain situations...I mean, like, 'whoa that's incredible' moments...so its a bit about consistency with him...and somethings that seemed to work well in studio...And now the dude is in his golden years...you can't take away his past accomplishments, but there comes a time one should respect his past accomplishments and gracefully, allow him to resign from duty....he should probably agree with this too..

Honestly, we're lucky bands of the like such as Toto and Journey have made any music in the last 30 years...and yet there's plenty of good material off of recent releases....
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby Sundet » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:56 pm

brandonx76 wrote:
What doesn't add up (for me) are the comments by band members about the difficulty of recording vocals in the studio with Fergie indicating the experience was 'really difficult' (etc)....

As far as I have heard,Fergie always held up live on the recordings I've heard...



Fergie had some pitch issues, which must have been a real nightmare in the studio before the age of autotune, particularly for perfectionists like Toto. David Paich can be tough vocal producer, as Joe Williams has hinted, and probably wouldn't accept anything below perfect. In the end I think he sang a couple of the tunes on Isolation himself out of sheer frustration. I also think Fergie was quite nervous about his singing, and knowing that his delivery didn't always meet the requirements probably didn't help. I guess this pretty much explains why it took forever to get a vocal out of him. As for the tour, I think Lukather said something that Fergie was fine "once he learned it" or something like that, but in the end I guess they decided that they didn't want to go through the hassle of recording another album with him. Also, I suppose the decline in sales for Isolation compared to Toto IV might also have led to the band parting with Fergie.

For all that, they still made a pretty decent album with him though.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby DracIsBack » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:06 pm

brandonx76 wrote:What doesn't add up (for me) are the comments by band members about the difficulty of recording vocals in the studio with Fergie indicating the experience was 'really difficult' (etc)....


He apparently got really nervous in a studio setting and it took him a lot of takes to get things right.

That said, when you're in a band of studio musicians who have a knack for doing the recording part in a "take or two", Toto can't exactly be the easiest to impress when you're entering the fold.

I always got the sense that their recording process was more about perfecting the song and arrangement and less about taking 150 takes to get the best performance. Given their pedigree, it seemed like when they knew what they wanted to play finally, getting it recorded was pretty easy.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby The_Noble_Cause » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:54 am

Sundet wrote:For all that, they still made a pretty decent album with him though.


Better than decent to me. My fav TOTO album.
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Re: I've finally figured out what it is about Kimball live..

Postby Abitaman » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:05 am

The_Noble_Cause wrote:
r@y wrote:For me...I never liked the timbre and tone of Bobby's vocals. I dug Luke's and Paich's vocals. And from a lead perspective I'd take Joe and Fergie, every day and twice on a Sunday ! :D


Out of all the TOTO tenors, the best live concert recordings I ever heard were Joe on the Fahrenheit tour and Fergie on the Isolation tour.


Have to agree. Have concerts from both and they were amazing. Joe for a while went through a tough patch vocally, and struggled for years. What ever the problem was, he seems to be much better nowadays.
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