Toto; American Music Theater Lancaster, PA 8/29/16

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Toto; American Music Theater Lancaster, PA 8/29/16

Postby jimmy19029 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:21 am

Wow, Toto three times in a three year period! So different from back in the 80s & 90s when they'd only play a few US dates, skipping the Northeast entirely. But, like most other classic rock acts, the big bucks are now to be found playing on the road.

This year the set was fairly lengthy, including a bunch from Toto XIV, released last year. "Alotta people give us crap about the number", laughed guitarist Luke, "But we know what number we're at..." Though, I liked the one before it, Falling in Between (2006), a little better, this latest release has some solid tunes, including a jab at the middle eastern terrorists, "Holy War", the moody "Burn" and "Great Expectations", in which the band threw in part of a 1990 tune from their "Byron era", "Can You Hear What I'm Saying". Byron being their front man of that era----and that's a whole 'nother story. These three were highlights for me and it was nice to hear 1984's "Stranger in Town", which I've never heard played live. Keyboardist David Paich, who was the singer on this tune was pretty animated, wandering around the stage during this one and later asking us if we preferred his top hat or cap. The audience voted for the top hat. Back in the old days, he would usually just sit behind the piano and not move much. Also, his vocals on "Stranger" and Africa" were quite good tonight.

Another newbie played was "Bend", which is quite moving on the CD but somehow didn't exactly come off 100% to me here. It was sung by keyboardist Steve Porcaro, who's only recently begun to sing some of his things on stage. His vocal tonight was only so-so. And guitarist Luke, who has been one of the main singers since the band began, has been struggling a bit for a few years but sounding better as time goes on.

No such troubles for front man/singer Joseph Williams. He's SPOT ON all the time! And he's capably backed up by Mabvuto Carpenter (who has worked with Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Usher) and Jenny Douglas-Foote ("We stole her back from Pink and Lenny Kravitz", Lukather explained).

I was sorry to see the legendary Simon Phillips give up the drum stool 2 years ago after a 22 year run with Toto. Nashville's Shannon Forrest is good but he's not Simon. The blow of losing Mr. Phillips has been cushioned somewhat by the return of original percussionist Lenny Castro, who's a maniac! A great pleasure for me to finally see him play live with the band. And the legendary bassist LEE SKLAR? What more can one say?

1988's Pamela, their very last Top 40 hit, was played and was a BURNER! I was never the biggest fan of "Afraid of Love" and their 1987 hit "Without Your Love", but it's great to see them mix things up and always change the setlist. I don't think "Without" has been played in over 29 years. And Luke's cover of Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs" kept all the guitar aficionados in the audience happy. The funky "Georgy Porgy", from their first album, was dedicated to the late Earth Wind & Fire founder Maurice White and the always moving "The Road Goes On" to Jeff & Mike Porcaro, who have also passed on. And it wouldn't be a Toto concert without "Rosanna", "Hold the Line" and the encore of "Africa".

Quite a nice venue this American Music Theater. And only about 40 miles from my house. Long may it reign!

Child's Anthem
I'll Supply the Love
Stranger in Town
Holy War
I Won't Hold You Back
Georgy Porgy
Afraid of Love
David Paich Solo
Great Expectations
Without Your Love
Bridge of Sighs
Hold the Line
The Road Goes On

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