An Evening with Toto – Dublin, Ireland
- Concert Review 23-05-2015.
Toto is a band which currently has (and has had in its past)
within its ranks some of the top musicians ever to play together
in a musical formation. Formed in 1977 by the best session
musicians in Los Angeles at the time, the band has had a long
and successful career with several top 40 hits such as “Hold
the Line”, “Rosanna” and “Africa”, whilst
also holding six Grammies to their name.
With this in mind we set off to Dublin’s fair city to see them
play live on the second date of their 2015 European Tour.
Surprisingly for Toto, their promoter (as the band themselves
said at the sound check) booked them into quite a small venue
(1500 capacity), which the band then sold out in under a week.
Perhaps a bigger venue would have been better, but then again
it was a close up and personal experience for the lucky fans
/ Meet and Greet.
We arrived at the Vicar Street venue at around 4.30pm, on arrival
we were given out our VIP passes. We then moved on into the
venue and had exclusive queue free access to merchandise store
whilst we waited for the band to get ready and the staff told
us how the event would work. There weren’t as many people
as I expected to be honest around 30 or so, then again more
time for the VIP ticket holders. Everyone in the queue seemed
to have something for the band to sign, records, CDs, and
even larger items such as guitars.
Once inside the venue the band came out onto stage very casually
and started chatting with the audience. It was very informal
and relaxed and we were able to ask questions and even ask
for song requests. The first of these by popular vote was
“Chinatown” from their new album, as it is not currently
included in the tour set list.
The band was very approachable and made many jokes, my favourite
was when Joseph said he was imagining how his father (Star
Wars composer John Williams) would score “Child’s Anthem”
after they finished playing it.
After the sound check the band moved to a set of tables where
they met each audience member. They personally signed a poster
and we also received a pre-signed snare drum head. I also
took my Toto XIV vinyl album which the band signed and the
back plate from my Music Man Luke 3 guitar was signed by Steve
The experience then ended with a band photo and we were allowed
to stay at the venue for early entry to the concert prior
the official opening of the doors to the general ticket holders.
Those of us at the VIP experience already had a good dose of
Toto, and we could already hear the rest of the audience outside
waiting. At 7.30pm the doors promptly opened and everyone
flooded into the room filling every available space. At a
few minutes past 8.30pm the music started and the band ripped
into “Running Out of Time”, the lead single from their new album “Toto
XIV” to a thunderous applause from the appreciative crowd.
More tracks followed including classics such as “I’ll Supply
the Love”, “Pamela” and the Africa-esque “Bottom of Your Soul”.
The hits aforementioned of course had to be played with “Hold
the Line” and “Rosanna” making an early appearance.
“Africa” was left to the last encore to leave the audience
on a high note. The band played straight through for nearly
two hours with another 20-25 minutes for the encores making
for “Totol” time (pun intended!)
of two and a half hours.
My personal favourite
was the “On the Run/Child's Anthem/Goodbye Elenore” Medley which rocked the venue, and also I must
say that even though I had listened quite a few times to “Great
Expectations” on the new album, hearing such an intricate
and complex piece live took it to another level. The piece
goes through quite a few tempo and style changes and the instrumental
5/4 section is top level musicianship at its best.
Steve was using a Music Man Luke
3 Ball Family Reserve (BFR) as his main guitar in a “blueberry
burst” finish with a flamed pattern. On some songs he
also used and another black Luke 3 with Sammy Davis Junior
graphics. Note both the guitars had DiMarzio humbucking pickups unlike
the EMG pickups he has favoured in the past. Amplifier wise
he had two Bogner half stacks (one spare I presume), together with his
pedalboard, which housed amongst
others, dual Digitech delays, a wah, volume pedal and his new Tone Concepts signature model
preamp booster. Bassist David Hungate
was playing a Lakland Five string
bass through an SVT half stack with a minimalist pedal board.
Drummer Shannon Forrest sported a red sparkle Brady kit with
a layout very reminiscent of the late Jeff Porcaro’s
kit. Moving onto keyboards Steve Porcaro
used two Yamaha synthesisers to control Apple Mainstage
software, whilst David Paich uses
a Yamaha CP40 Piano for his main sounds and a Motif for supplemental
patches. These are housed in his now trademark upright piano
frame with the white Toto logo similar to that from the “Turn
Tour Line Up.
– guitars, vocals, keyboards
– keyboards, vocals
– keyboards, synthesizers, vocals
Joseph Williams – vocals
– bass guitar
Mabvuto Carpenter – backup vocals
Jenny Douglas-McRae – backup vocals
Lenny Castro – percussion
Shannon Forrest – drums, percussion
Running Out of Time
Supply the Love
Hold You Back
Takin' It Back
of Your Soul
in the Balance
Your Love Play
Wing Play (Jimi Hendrix cover)
Road Goes On
On the Run/Child's Anthem/Goodbye