donderdag, juni 23, 2011

On June 23 and 24, Toto filled up a sold out Heineken Music Hall for their 'In The Blink Of An Eye 1977-2011' tour. Just as the previous shows the band is supporting ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a neurologic progressive disease leading to death) and their buddy Mike Porcaro who is suffering from this ugly disease. A little late and the crowd getting a bit impatient, but around 8.45 PM the lights in the hall went down and Toto began to play the first song on their first LP: Child's Anthem. Although Steve Lukather decided to leave up most of the vocals to Joseph Williams and David Paich, the band surprised with a lot of songs one wouldn't expect. Surely there were several hits like Africa, Rosanna, Pamela and Stop Loving You but what struck me most, was that both Williams and Lukather weren't able to reach for the high notes and had John James or Jenny Douglas sing those instead. Paich proved to be in good form and played the piano with enthusiasm and speedy fingers, while session bass player Nathan East had no difficulties at all to replace Mike Porcaro. With an overload of routine the band played all the songs but with such an extensive back catalogue I would have preferred more songs than the keyboard solo's. Steve Porcaro mostly played with one hand didn't seem to have a problematic score to play while most of the solo's were done by Luke and Paich, still it's very nice to see him back in the band.

Luke did a special introduction to the song Lea, composed by Steve Porcaro whom he named as 'best friend'; Lea was sung by Joseph Williams. Of course Steve Lukather reminded the audience why Toto was on stage and he urged everyone to contribute to the ALS society to help them find a cure. Jenny Douglas starred in the Bob Marley tribute but like Luke and Williams wasn't able to produce the highest screams she was aiming for. However, with just renowned musicians on stage no one seem to notice and the impressive level of routine made it all look so easy. Not Williams but John James took the lead vocal in Stop Loving You and the song Human Nature, composed by Steve Porcaro and a hit for Michael Jackson was performed in a very tasteful way. At the end David Paich was celebrated as 'one of the finest musicians I've ever known' by Luke. Within two hours Toto was done with their set and with no support act, no big screens and 'just' a decent but straight forward light show I wasn't blown away, although the show was quite okay. Nice surprise was that Trevor Lukather joined the band in the encore Hold The Line but his solo looked rather simple compared to the one his dad did. Luke is still a phenomenal guitarist and in a line up like this the band can keep on going for ever but .... it's getting just a tiny bit less through the years. It wouldn't be a surprise to me if -again in support of the ALS society- there will be a DVD and/or live cd in the near future. Toto still rocks but the weights of several members of the band are increasing while the quality is slowly moving in the opposite direction. Luke will be back in the fall with his own band, though there's no date in the Netherlands (yet).

Setlist: 1. Child's Anthem 2. Till the End 3. Afraid Of Love 4. Lovers In The Night 5. Somewhere Tonight / No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley cover) 6. Stay Away 7. Lea 8. Gift of Faith 9. Pamela 10. Keyboard Solo 11. Africa 12. Human Nature ("Michael Jackson cover") 13. Rosanna 14. Georgy Porgy 15. Stop Loving You 16. Home Of The Brave Encore: 17.Hold the Line (with Trevor Lukather on guitar)

P.s.: all photographers weren't allowed to take pics up front, there was no pit so all pics were taken from the platform for the fans in wheelchairs so poor quality and no close ups this time ...