TOTO - Official Website - Concert Reviews

TOTO XX Reunion
Release Party Reviews
Joe Williams, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, Mike Porcaro, Simon Phillips

KÖLN, GERMANY — 2 June 1998
The "Bistro" is situated in a former factory with thick dark walls in one of Cologne's industrial areas. It was divided into a vip and a fan section. The stage was about 30 cm high and there was no blocking, so we could get really close to the band. Compared to this I can recall a show in Munich two years ago when I - being rather small - saw very little of them (what I heard was great). You could really watch them playing their instruments and not only listen.
They were starting with "Dave's gone skiing". Then Bobby, Joseph and Steve P. entered the stage and they continued with "Goin' Home" which was celebrated by the fans. If somebody told me - say in April - I'd ever see Toto with these three musicians live, I'd called him crazy.
During the first songs I stood in front of the stage in the first row, close to David and Luke, where I also had a good view at Joe and Bobby. I later left this first position and could get another place in the first row again, this time near Steve P. The most most exciting thing about this evening was listening to this great band in such a small location. Both band and fans created very relaxed, cheerful atmosphere.
Though my favourite Toto lead singer is Joe I was deeply impressed by Bobby's singing. He was giving his best and the fans were enthusiastic about him. After the show Steve P., Mike, Luke and Bobby joined the fans and everybody who wanted to could get an autograph, photo and chat.
One bad aftertaste will remain: My Toto XX-poster with Steve P.'s dedication on it was stolen while leaving it unwatched for a moment. At midnight the bus brought us back to the inner city of Cologne. I will remember this event for years. Thank you very much, Mark, for making it possible.

Bobby KimballSteve Porcaro

A Dream Comes True!
It was the greatest day of my toto-fan-life. I took the last chance to see the original band members and hear them live.
At 21.00 h the curtain openend and Luke, Simon, David and Mike appeared on stage. The first song they played was "Dave's Gone Skiing". After the brillant instrumental introduction Luke called the old band members Joseph Williams, Bobby Kimball and Steve Porcaro on stage. People were going crazy!!!
The show started with two new (old) songs "Goin' Home" and "Tale Of A Man". That was music from another planet. It was louder, stronger and more powerful than everything I've ever heard from Toto.
Bobby shared the vocal part with Joseph and both had fantastic voices. Toto were happy to be on stage again with all the other members of the band. I got the chance to hear the songs "Rosanna", "Hold The Line", "Girl Goodbye" and "Stop Loving You" in the original formation with the original voices. That was an unforgettable feeling.
My favourite song "On The Run" was sung by Luke. This song was the beginning of of an incredible finish of the concert. Luke played his guitar very well and Simon swang the drumsticks absolutely brillant. The gig was fantastic. After 70 minutes the band left the stage and the crowd went crazy.
The concert was over but the party was ready to start. I had the chance to speak with all bandmembers (except David?!). The talk with Joseph and Bobby was very short. Most time I spoke with Steve and Mike (my idol: the best bass player in the world). They told me all about the fun to play together again and that they really enjoyed the time with all the old friends but they had no plans for the future. I hope for all the fans in the world that the reunion will continue. It was a great time.
A special thanks to Mark and Petra for the invitation and many thanx to my friends Ingo, Rasmus and Jussi!

Simon Phillips

On 2 June I attended the TOTO XX release party at Cologne. Having seen the band performing live on stage during major world tours, this evening was absolutely outstanding. Not only due to the special atmosphere of an intimate party situation, but also due to the performance of TOTO's ex-singers Bobby Kimball and Joseph Williams, as well as long-time band member Steve P.!
As I had discovered the magic of this supergroup very late indeed (in the early 90's), it was my first (and perhaps last?) occasion to see the band performing in this line-up.
The current band members started with "D.G.S.", a dynamic and well-known instrumental among TOTO fans. Then Luke asked the former band members to join the band on stage. The audience freaked out. I think many fans were highly surprised but extraordinary pleased with these guest appearances.
They went on with "Goin' Home", their current single and added another previously unreleased tune, "Tale of a man". It was awesome listening to Bobby's strong voice, especially on "Girl Goodbye", and also Joe Williams had a great spotlight with "Stop loving you".
Not a single hit was missing from "Rosanna" to "Africa", but my personal highlight (among the many!) was "Hold the line" as it was the song that started it all, not only for the band in 1977, but also for me (13 years later!).
Although I wish they would have played one of my all-time favourites, "Home of the Brave", especially as Joe was present, I will keep this special show in my mind. I think I really would have missed a great opportunity to see Joe, Bobby and Steve P. live with the band, if I hadn't been there.

Mike Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro

The release parties for the XX album were certainly the ultimate experience for everyone who attended any of those events. Witnessing the probably one time reunion of TOTO with some of their former band members was a dream come true. After an energetic start with "Dave's Gone Skiing", Bobby, Joe and Steve Porcaro entered the stage to join Luke, Dave, Mike and Simon for an extraordinary performance. The set consisted of a great mixture of songs that they hadn't played in ages (like "Tale of a man" and "On the run") as well as the big hits with their original voices which made the audience go crazy. TOTO were as always in great shape and Joe's and Bobby's voices were simply amazing. The atmosphere on stage was pure fun, everyone in the audience could see how much these guys were enjoying playing together again. TOTO really sounded like in the "old days". It's unbelievable how well they were all playing together after all these years given the fact that they had only had one rehearsal. It was a unique concert that I'll always remember.

David Paich, Steve Lukather

It couldn't have been a coincidence that the moment the entrance opened up for the Toto XX Release Party in Koln, Germany, the rain disappeared and a shining sun appeared.
The venue was made to look like a Toto XX tomb and looked fantastic. Since we went to the venue a couple of hours early and saw it like it was - a cold unpleasant factory hall -, we saw the change was enormous.
The tension built up, until the curtains disappeared and the band started giving its best. What I noticed was the small back line that they used for this gig. Only one Rivera amp for Luke, one synth for Paich, one synth for Steve and a half size drum kit for Simon.
The crowd (about 350/400 people) went wild while singing along with the classics. The moment Steve, Bobby and Joe entered the stage you could feel something changing in the crowd. It felt like some kind of magic, seeing these guys play together, 'cause who would have believed it when they were told a year ago Toto would appear on the same stage again with Joe & Bobby?
They did a fine job, especially Bobby who proved he can still sing those songs he shined on years ago, and is THE ultimate performer/front man. Joe sang well, though it took him some hard work on a couple of tunes, but both proved to me that they can still do it, if they get some rest between gigs. Too bad Joseph didn't seem to enjoy himself a lot.
This gig showed (at least to me) that the addition of extra vocalists works best for Toto. Luke has a great voice, but it gets even better when blended with the voices of Bobby, David & Joe.
All-in-all this was a once in a lifetime event that unfortunately only a small group of lucky ones could experience, and I'm sure none of us will ever forget this evening.
There are a couple of things that annoyed me, though. Why did there have to be a separate VIP and fans entrance and hall side, and why do people steal souvenirs from other people who had Toto sign them on such an otherwise friendly evening?

Bobby Kimball

PARIS, FRANCE — 26 May 1998
Hi there all, as I'm writing it, I'm still excited...
I arrived yesterday at 8.15 PM at le reservoir and there were 200 persons waiting outside and queuing. As we were waiting, some cameras were filming the thing and some of us (the fans) were interviewed for a TV broadcast called 'Exclusif' which is on TV everyday at 6.30 PM on the TF1 channel.
Then, after almost one hour of waiting we've started goin' inside.
Still one hour of waiting inside, you know, discussing with fans all together...
And then the thing happened, as the pub has only one entrance they arrived in a minibus or else and walked through the place followed by spotlights, cameras, and the crowd was there to welcome them.
Mike, David, Luke, and Simon were in and the concert began with 'Dave's gone skiing' : the sound was great, the guys were cool and hot; as the place is tiny, I was wondering how would Simon fit his drums into ; hey man, he had a simple bassdrum and in fact a normal drums. I've been told that he came alone in the morning for 4 hours to train and get used with the drums.
Let me tell you I'm not a big fan of Simon but the way he played that night was great groovy and toto-inspired (is it because of the drums themsleves or what ??!).
Then Luke invited on the stage one at a time : Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams, and Bobby Kimball ; the crowd was crazy, roaring all that can be.
The next tune was 'Goin' home'. The mood was amazing, everyone looking each other waiting for an annoying sign which would mean "it's real man, you don't dream !". The singer guys did the job very well (even if Joseph whose voice has sounded great was a little weak, I mean he managed the thing but not so easily).
The next was 'Tale of a man' : man, the thing made me crazy ! Simon made some mistakes about the fills (at 200 mph) but a few people noticed it, not so bad ...
The next was 'Goodbye girl' , what a great pleasure to hear that old stuff. Bobby doin' a great job (remember of that high range voice).
The next was 'On the run', what a groovy shuffle...
The next was 'Stop loving you', think of Joseph singing that 5 meters from me, WOW !
Then the famous 'Africa', a classical version even if the end becomes Jazzy and based on impros and smooth choruses.
The end of the concert then. After an 'encore' they came back on stage and made 'Hold the line' with the classical live long version. They finished it with 'Rosanna' of course.
The moment was magical, and needless to say it was a unique moment.
They then fainted to leave and half of the crowd left. Then a guitar was to win (an acoustic one signed by the band) so they came back. While an hour I had Steve Porcaro and Joseph Williams 10 meters from me at the bar drinking a beer. Mike was going round and round, Bobby also. David Paich was more unaccessible and had disappeared (like Luke).
Cameras were following some of the guys who were alone and then (after the spotlights were on them) were asked by dozens of fans for signs. It was unbelievable to think that what we're discussing about all days on the list was 10 meters from me !
I was attending the scene a bit disgusted by the primary fan who shout and runs everywhere with 'Hey David, hey Steve, hey ... a sign please' whereas it was above all an occasion for them to meet and discuss... well, that's life, what is the most important : asking for a sign and leave or chat 5 minutes with Joseph williams ?
As I was attending to it (sat on the stage waiting for the guitar !) Bobby came 1 meter from me, then Steve Porcaro also at 1 meter, and finally the unbelievable thing : Luke came behind me on the stage (he was 30 centimeters far) asking for songs !! Then the whole band went on stage, it was silent in the place cause he just took the acoustic guitar with him and they sang with no microphones ! We were all singing together, jammin' with them in fact... (can you imagine what I felt having luke in front of me playing the acoustic guitar with bobby at my right singing 'A million miles away', 'Mama', 'The other end of time', 'Georgy Porgy'...) : a great moment.
Then they left and stayed still 2 minutes around as we were singing 'Happy birthday to you' for them.
Bye bye everyone and thanks for reading it.