TOTO’s “40 Trips Around the Sun Tour” came through Reno last Saturday night for a stop at the Grand Sierra Resort. Like them or not, Toto is one of the most successful bands of all time, regardless of what scale you use to measure their mark on the musical landscape.
Toto’s performance was absolutely tight and professional. This was a group of eight studio quality rock and roll musicians doing what they have been doing for years, and doing it well.
I would call it a combination of pop, rock and roll, and jazz. Their instrumental, “Jake to the Bone,” was a mind numbing display of musical proficiency. When they got to “Rosanna” the whole house was on their feet. Granted, Steve Lukather asked us to get on our feet, but still, we did!
After “Rosanna” they rearranged the stage a bit, and Steve sat in a chair with an acoustic guitar. They then played as if we were all in their living room having a little party. Lead vocalist Joseph Williams told stories about the songs and then they would play a shortened version of each one. They did this with six songs (listed below). It was a nice respite.
They jumped out of this section by rocking hard with “Girl Goodbye” and “Lion.” They also played a nice rendition of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Sleeps.” I thought they did a fine job with this up until the end where Lukather had an extended a cappella high-energy lead solo that didn’t really fit the rest of the song, but what do I know? I’m just a drummer.
They finished the set with their huge hit “Africa” that included an audience sing along section and a great percussion solo by Lenny Castro backed by drummer Shannon Forrest. It was the perfect way to finish up. They encored with “Hash Pipe” by Weezer .
This was a very well done show. The sound, lighting and harmonies were fantastic. They did some five-part harmonies that were great. Keyboard player and vocalist Dominique Taplin is filling in for founding member David Paich who is not touring at this time and he did an amazing job, especially considering he only had two rehearsals with the band.
At one point I saw a drum tech come up on Forrest’s drum riser and replace his snare drum mid-song and nobody missed a beat. You couldn’t tell it happened. It was a great show — and just about sold out from what I heard.
- Steve Lukather – guitars / vocals
- Steve Porcaro – keyboards / vocals
- Joseph Williams – vocals
- Lenny Castro – percussion
- Warren Ham – saxophone / harmonica / flute / vocals
- Shannon Forrest – drums
- Shem von Schroeck – bass / vocals
- Dominique Taplin – keyboards / vocals
- Hold the Line
- Lovers in the Night
- Spanish Sea
- I Will Remember
- English Eyes
- Jake to the Bone
Living Room Set
- –Georgy Porgy
- -Human Nature
- -No Love
- -Stop Loving You
- Girl Goodbye
- Dune (Desert Theme)
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- Make Believe
- Hash Pipe
CORRECTION: Toto’s fill-in keyboardist was correctly identified. Keyboard player and vocalist Dominique Taplin is filling in for founding member David Paich.