TOTO - Official Website - Concert Reviews

Saturday night, September 25th, my husband and I went to catch Simon Phillips at the Baked Potato. It was billed the Baked Potato All Stars, featuring Dave Carpenter on bass (acoustic), Jeff Richman on guitar and the incredible Simon. We really weren't expecting additional musicians, but much to our delight saxman, Brandon Fields and keyboardist, Jeff Babko rounded out this wondrous Jazz ensemble. Among the numbers performed, one in particular stood out, it was a tune originally done by Mongo Santamaria (Afro-Blue?)and covered by John Coltrane, it was magnificently executed by these cats! Another memorable tune was titled The Music, the Night and You, great stuff. Simon, needless to say, was on his minimalist kit, but............"aye caramba"............ this guy can play on anything and create pandemonium!!! Our plans were to catch the first set only and be on our way, but that set was so hot that we had to stick around for the second. So glad we did! We were seated about 5 feet from Simon, though we couldn't get a great photo from where we sat (if you're a Zildjian fan you'll love the shot we got), we had an awesome angle on his handiwork. Overall, it was a great location. We didn't get out of the club until well past 1am, but not without getting to meet and chat with Simon as he walked by. He graciously stopped at our table after having spent so much time with other devoted fans and friends who had amassed around him. I was very fortunate to be able to get my hands on Simon's drum sticks that he had played with that night...........what a thrill!!! Thank you, Simon!
Simon and Dave

A packed house at B.B. King's was treated to a show of a lifetime. I have been fortunate enough to see every show that Luke, Simon, Melvin and Jeff have done as Doves of Fire and it is amazing to see how tight they have gotten since their first performance in January of 2001. Not only are they the most incredible musicians, they have such a bond and have so much fun on stage that it carries out to the audience and creates an amazing experience for everyone. Toto fans have been familiar with this for 25 years, but now Luke and Simon have given us all another "gift" that you MUST see. This was the place to be on March 9th and everyone knew it. I spotted in the audience Mike Porcaro, Edgar Winter, Fee Waybill and Marc Bonilla to name a few. The unbelievable 1 hour 45 minute set included the following: 1) BIRDS OF FIRE, 2) TAURIAN MATADOR, 3) MILES BEYOND, 4) CROSSWIND, 5) SPACE BOOGIE, 6) SONG FOR JEFF (VERY MOVING AS ALWAYS), 7) CELESTIAL TERRESTRIAL, 8) STRATOS, 9) PARTY IN SIMON'S PANTS, ENCORE 10) LED BOOTS. Just an incredible show!! I had the opportunity to talk with Luke, Simon, Melvin and Jeff before and after the show and it was easy to sense the bond that they have created in the past year. I asked about future liveshows for "Doves", but with Toto firing up for another busy and great year, as well as the many other projects that they all have lined up, it might be awhile. At least we all have the "live" Doves of Fire CD to look forward to later this year! Keep your eyes open for any future performances. You don't want to miss out on this!! See you at the shows!

On 9 March 2002 I turned 50! and as luck would have it I saw on the TOTO web page that Doves of Fire featuring Simon & Steve Lukather were playing a show at BB Kings Blues Club in LA. My wife and I flew down from Seattle and settled in to the club at 6.30pm (to get good seats) but unfortunatly the ' Doves ' didn't come on till after 10.00pm, a long wait! But I have to say all our effort and expence was worth it! To hear a live version of "Space Boogie", "Party in Simons Pants" and "Spectrum" (Billy Cobham tune) was somthing I will always remember. Jeff Babko played keyboards and what a live wire that guy is! The bass player was playing a 7 string bass, which is about as difficult as it gets but he was absolutly amazing and quite a singer as well. Luke played with a lot of itensity and as a group they were having more fun on stage thanI've ever seen. And Simon was just on fire, talk about musical gymnastics!!........a lot of the tunes were in odd time (one was in 21/8) and he made it look so easy its mind boggling!! Anyway it was a fabulous evening and I hope a live CD is released so the rest of the World can enjoy what we did that evening

We had a great and rare opportunity to catch Mike Porcaro this past Friday, 11/23, at Cafe Cordiale in Sherman Oaks, CA. The nights' line up, billed "Friends," included Jay Gore on guitar, Shane August on keyboards/vocals, Robin DiMaggio on drums and, I believe it was Dino Soldo on percussion. Saxophonist Adrian Tapia along with another sax player who I unfortunately didn't catch his name, also filled in. Robin DiMaggio, of course, recently released a great CD entitled "Blue Planet," in which the Porcaro brothers, David Paich & Luke are contributors. It was a fun night of R & B/Funk entertainment, in which the group performed covers by such artists as Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, the Commodores, Bob Marley, Bill Withers and other cool tunes. We were treated to a special surprise when bassist, Neil Stubenhaus, sat in on one tune. Then, with Mike back in the saddle, the group played a fresh rendition of Georgy Porgy that just smoked! Overall it was really exciting to catch Mike in a small club setting and to see him light up the room up close! Oh, I must mention that I got a chance to meet and speak with Mike before and after the gig, what a gentleman! He was gracious in allowing me to pose with him for a photo. Thanks!