Thursday, November 16, 2006

Toto Live at the Chicago House of Blues 11/14/06

So I saw Toto live for the first time last night-- here's a breakdown:

Venue: D - As much as I love Toto, I would have liked to have been able to sit for at least PART of it. I mean, as good as it was, I really didn't need to be on my feet for Greg Phillenganes keyboard solo!

Music: A+ - These guys are still masters of their respective crafts. Although Mike Porcaro didn't look so good. He looked either bored, constipated, or in pain for a good portion of the show. Maybe he was having an "off" night, his playing was okay, but he just didn't seem to be enjoying himself, it was almost as if he was just going through the motions. The rest of the band was solid however. Lukather had a blistering guitar solo and I was much impressed by Simon Phillips drumming.

Vocals: B- - Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Bobby Kimball is back in the band, but no offense, he really doesn't have the right vocal style to tackle songs like Pamela and he doesn't really have the range to tackle the Fergie Frederiksen material (in his defense, few singers DO have that range). I will say Bobby did a respectable job on Endless and he nailed all of "his" material. But he seemed to struggle a bit on Isolation and Pamela. Greg Phillenganes, Steve Lukather, and Tony Spinner all sounded exceptional, but for the most part the instruments were so loud in the mix the quality of their vocals suffered as a result.

Setlist (song selection/order): B - There was a great mix of hits and deep album cuts, but they started out with 3 or 4 of their more "obscure" tracks in a row (the first 2 songs were off their latest album). While I, a die-hard fan, appreciated this I think playing one of their biggest hits earlier on would have helped energize the crowd a bit more. The key is to know your audience, and while their setlist did appeal to my portion of the audience (the fellow die-hard fans) I think it alienated some of the more casual listeners who may have been in attendance.

Overall: B+ - All in all it was a very enjoyable show, but I'm hoping next time Toto comes to my neck of the woods it's at a better venue (with seats!) as honestly, most of my disappointment with the show stems from having sore feet from standing so long-- something the band had little/no control over.

3 comments:

Layla said...

I could not have stood the whole time due to back issues, that would have been very disappointing to me.

Sounds like a good show though!

Toad734 said...

Toto is still around??

Perplexio said...

layla: If a place is standing room only like HOB, they should have a bit more comfortable flooring... nice padded carpets or SOMETHING to at least make standing for long periods of time moderately comfortable.... or maybe I should have just picked up some Dr. Scholl's insoles prior to the show... Then it wouldn't have mattered because I would have been "Gellin' like Magellan"

toad734: Yes, and they're still quite popular in Europe and Asia. They just put out a new album in early 2006. And they re-hired their original lead singer, Bobby Kimball, back in 1998, after a 14 year absence from the band. Today their following is a bit more cult-ish therefore they make the music they want to make on their own terms... and thus it's leaps and bounds better than their "hits."