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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Toto

Live In Chicago, IL, November 2006

Review by Greg Olma

I was lucky enough to catch Toto in Milwaukee this last summer. It has been so long since they played the states that I felt a little spoiled getting to see the band twice in less than 6 months. They are still touring on the back of Falling In Between but they didn’t dwell on that release. Having such a rich catalogue must be a blessing and a curse. I spoke to some of the fans before the show and each person had their favorites, some of which were not played during the show. Even I had a few tunes that I wanted to hear that didn’t get played, but if I chose the set list, they would have been up on stage for 6 hours.

The show started with “Falling In Between” and “King Of The World” off the new CD. Even though it is a fairly new release, the crowd treated them as if they were old classics. Before giving us another song off the new album, they slipped in a fan favorite “Pamela.” The most recent single “Bottom Of Your Soul” was next. By this point Toto could do no wrong and the crowd was with them from the very start.
Before going into a little 3 song acoustic set, the guys gave us “Make Believe” which segued into a rockin’ version of “Hold The Line.” You could feel the floor shake and it showed that Toto is a rock band. After that classic, Toto gave us a bit of a breather by playing the next batch of tunes acoustically. Tony Spinner sang “Stop Loving You”. “I’ll Be Over You” and “Cruel” quickly followed and before we knew it, Greg Phillinganes was playing his keyboard solo.
   
Next up was “Rosanna” and although they must be sick of playing that track, you would never know it by their performance. They still played it like it was a new composition. Since the boys have such a vast amount of songs from which to choose, a medley is really their only option to give the fans as many songs in as little time as possible. There was a medley on the second leg of the tour. It not only contained 6 songs but also solos from Steve Lukather and Simon Phillips. It was great that they included the title track from Kingdom Of Desire. It is a much overlooked track and it fit nicely in the middle of the medley. They briefly touched on “Hydra” and while I was happy with that, I wish they would include more of that album. It too is an overlooked classic.

The set ended with “I Won’t Hold You Back” and a heavy version of “Girl Goodbye”. They came back out and played “Africa, which is probably their biggest hit. While I have to admit, this was clearly not “saving the best for last” for me, the crowd loved it. Although this was a similar set to the one I saw this past summer, it was still a great show. What stood out most to me was that this is not a nostalgia tour where they just played their hits. They have a new album out and they showcased a good amount off of it. Judging by the crowd’s response to the new material, it is clear that Toto is still a relevant band in 2006. Go see them. You’ll have a good time with the hits and you’ll get a dose of some really good new material
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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