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Atlanta, USA — 6 August 2004

Toto with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Concert

When I saw that Toto was playing in North America, I called my wife and said "we gotta go to this one!" Funny thing, though. We live in London, Ontario Canada. Needless to say, this quickly became a non-issue. We bought the tickets, hopped on a flight to Atlanta and saw the best concert of our lives.

Powerful, amiable, tight, electric, talented are only a few of the words that come to mind.

When they began with Goodbye Girl and absolutely ripped it, I knew me and 2000 other people were in for a real treat. Kimball was dead on, Paich and Porcaro were perfect and Tony Skinner was a pleasant surprise.

What can I say about Simon Phillips and Steve Lukather. Kimball was right when he said "the best there is". These 2 guys absolutely carried the show.

They covered all the Toto "musts" including Pamela, Rosanna, Africa and Hold the Line. The only thing missing was "99". I would like to have heard a few more from Tambu; it's my fav. But hey, with a catalogue like these guys have I didn't feel like I missed out.

Again, this was a great show. I hope they play N.A. again next year.

Glenn Wickert
London Ontario



My meek tribute to the phenomenal band called Toto. I could use an infinite amount of words and all of Webster and still not come close to the performance Toto gave on Aug 6th in Atlanta, GA. This was my first live show with Toto. I had only experienced their magic through audio and DVD. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect them to exceed what you see and hear on a DVD. They were able to do just that without a hitch and so much more.
I had the pleasure of watching Toto practice for the first time with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra just hours before they performed live to a candle-lit, roaring, dancing, singing-along, crowded amphitheater. The practice was like watching a doctor performing surgery, everything had to be just perfect or it wasn't going to be right. A perfectionist attitude took over when it came to how the music was going to sound. Practice went long after the intended time limit and it showed. I would like to say thanks for them for caring so much about their passion and their fans to want that for yourself and them.
I was told by a friend, "Toto's takes you to a whole new level." Now, I know what he was talking about. The musicianship and the voice integrity of the band is beyond comprehension to the normal everyday fan. We listen to their music because it speaks to our souls or says something that needs to be said. It makes us think and feel in places we want to sometimes make numb. However, the way Toto conveys it, it makes it not hurt so bad or even hurt so good. After seeing and hearing them live... there's no going back. The DVDs and CDs don't begin to hold a candle to what you feel in a live performance. All of the band members have a unique gift to the band as a whole. Bobby Kimball with his energetic, passionate singing will get you in places you didn't think were there. His voice is incredible and his range is indescribable, most mere morals cannot even attempt to hit the notes he does effortlessly! Steve Lukather guitar genius and singing are a rare combination. David Paich playing piano and singing like he's there within the song and no where else. Tony Spinner is great guitarist and singer that sings from the heart to yours. Mike Porcaro puts the "boom" the bass and rides it like a cool wave. And Simon Phillips plays drums like it's part of his heart beat and shares it with you through the music. All these is live! All this put together it Toto. Nothing could come close to what I saw and heard in Atlanta... nothing.
I will leave on this note. If you ever have the opportunity to see them live, do so. You won't regret it, in fact, you'll beg for more. Hopefully one day, they will get the recognition they deserve in the states and play more here. When they come back around and I'll be there! You can bet on it!

I Could Be Good For You.......(Toto)

P.S. Many thanks to all of Toto and their team for their kindness and generousity. A special thanks to Baby Blue for...well...everything! You're the best!

Donna ;-) Picayune, Mississippi


There have been so many great reviews that have been posted so far that I'm not sure where to start, so I'll keep mine fairly short and sweet. I'll start with some obvious observations and comments that most of us have grown used to:

1) What an amazing band!
2) These guys ROCK!
3) Toto is the best band on the planet.
4) Simon is related to the octopus.
5) God, it's good to have Bobby back.
6) By the look on his face, Mike is either groovin' really hard, or maybe he's in need of a laxative.
7) That Luke, he's so funny.
8) Was that Joseph Williams' voice I heard during 'Only The Children'?
9) Where was Paich's 'Spear Britney' T-Shirt?
10) I sure wish they would have played _______________________________ .

Now that I have that out of my system...

Friday, August 6th is a day I will never forget. Not only was this concert being performed one day after the anniversary of Jeff Porcaro's death, which weighed heavily on my mind the entire day, but it was one of most unique Toto performances I have witnessed. Toto IV, in my opinion, was one of the finest recordings ever, both creatively and technically. To be able to hear 'I Won't Hold You Back' with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's support was truly magical. To hear the lush, full sound of the symphony sweeping throughout the song as it builds in momentum was a musical treat I'll always cherish, especially when those kinds of sounds are so heavily generated with synthesizers these days (I'm starting to sound like an old guy now). Some other highlights from the day:

1) Unexpectedly seeing the band in the hotel lobby waiting for their shuttle. Paich was sitting down at a baby grand going over charts with the conductor of the orchestra (Matt). Luke eventually sat down and started playing "Georgia On My Mind". When Bobby Kimball caught wind of what Luke was playing, he started singing along. That definitely turned some heads in the hotel lobby!

2) Seeing so many of the friends I have met at various Toto shows, such as Steve McVey, Nathan Yancy, Pete Yablonsky and his wife Sally, John Marshall, Phil (from Atlanta), and several others. Going to a Toto show is starting to feel like a family reunion!

3) Being fortunate enough to sit-in on the rehearsal and witnessing the sound check.

4) Perfect weather, especially since this was an outdoor venue.

5) Leaving my seat, which was right next to the stage, to take a seat nearly in the back of the venue. There, no one else was around. It was just me and the music of my favorite band. Of course, I moved back to my seat next to the stage eventually. Do you think I'm THAT crazy?

6) Shaking David Paich's hand after the show and then realizing how short his fingers are. How in the world does he play piano so well with such short fingers?

7) Watching Steve McVey run around like a crazed fan snapping photo after photo. I saw smoke rising from his camera at one point.

8) Watching three women, who had to be in their 60's and 70's, grooving to 'Girl Goodbye'. They even had front row seats (probably an orchestra subscription). I asked my friend Eddy before they show if they knew what they were in for, but to my surprise they stayed for the entire show and really seemed to have a good time.

9) Reminding myself during the show that this band has been around for 27 years and sounds better than ever. I know, this one could probably go in my previous list of the 'obvious', but we as fans should really feel fortunate that they are still going strong after all of these years. Even if they decided to release 'Through The Looking Glass II', we should all be thankful.

10) Realizing during the performance that if it wasn't for the great fans in Europe and Asia - anywhere outside of the USA for that matter - this band may not be around. From what I've heard, the band is pretty excited about the two orchestra shows (Honolulu and Atlanta), so hopefully momentum is in place to tour the USA and get back in the good graces of the American audience. Go Toto!

The only lowlight of the day: Sitting in a pizza place prior to the show, my friend Nathan Yancy was trying to sell two extra tickets, and was advertising with a sign around his neck. A man walked up to us and said, "Toto. Wow, are they still around? My wife thought they were dead." My heart sank, but it didn't ruin my day. I just had to chalk it up to igorance.

So much for keeping my review brief. My fingers started dancing on the keyboard and didn't know when to quit. I'm looking forward to more shows in the near future and meeting as many of you as possible.

Best wishes!

Rick Such
Indianapolis, IN



In one word...AWESOME!!! I have never been a real big fan of TOTO, but I based this on the only few songs I had heard... Hold the line (which I have always loved), Rosanna and Africa (never cared for), hence not a big fan. Started dating a musician year ago, and he always raved about TOTO, I always just rolled my eyes and said yes dear. After finding out that they were coming in concert, I immediately let him know and we were both trying to find the best seats we could for the concert (thinking to myself, I must really love this man). We lucked out and had good seats sharing a table with strangers who had bought tickets from the same guy. Started to hear a few songs I had heard before but never knew who sang them, thank you critics for not letting a lot of airplay of some awesome songs, anyways, some how after intermission, my boyfriend and the other guy at the table go down to the stage to look around, then here comes the other guy and he starts whispering come on we got front row, and low and behold my boyfriend and I have Lukather and Porcaro in front of us. I was totally blown away, these are some of the greatest musicians I have ever heard!!! If it was somehow possible, I liked the music from the concert better than the CDís (I have since purchased two) All I know is that I have never been to a concert where the band sounds better live than on an CD, or Album for you relics like my boyfriend..haha

I cannot wait until they return (if ever, given that the USA has never given them a chance, I hold my head in shame, I am guilty).

Keep Rockin guys!!!

Tiffany
Atlanta, GA



What a fabulous evening. This was my first Toto concert ever. Twenty-five years in the making. I travelled all the way from Boston just for this event.
As a drummer in the late 70's and early 80's in Connecticut, Toto was THE band (Jeff Poccaro my hero). I still have the records. Twenty five years later, I am and always will be a Toto fanatic. You guys are only getting better and better.

This was a dream come true to see them in the US LIVE!!. What a night!!! What a venue!! The Atlanta symphony was great. I met great Toto fans (Jeff and Tommy from Tennessee,etc...). All of us true fans from the beginning rocked the house. Toto thanks for making this a fantastic evening. One that I will never forget. Please return to New England either at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. Thanks again.

Glenn
Boston, MA



After my eleventh Toto concert in 26 years, this time here in Atlanta Friday night, I guess that I have to finally concede.....THIS WAS THE BEST YET! The question has finally been answered. Other than another double platinum release with globally saturated clear channel air play that bags numerous Grammies - what would it take for America to appreciate Toto for what they really are (visionaries, studio musicians etc.) ??? Well, how about a series of concerts with an orchestra (Atlanta Symphony) like we had 48 hours ago. It is not automatic though as I have seen Yes and the Moody Blues with an orchestra and it just didn't measure up to this event. I won't give any secrets out but I heard six songs that I have never heard them do live before and I had to keep pinching myself! I looked around at the enthusiastic applause and recognition and knew then that the band had completely disassembled any thoughts of audience apathy. I have not witnessed such audience participation since the San Juan Puerto Rico show almost five years ago. Truly, a far cry from the Variety Playhouse show here in 1994 (that tragic year).

A dear friend Joe Jackson and his wife drove up from Mobile Alabama (who I met at the 1994 Atlanta show and attended the Tunica, Biloxi and New Orleans shows later that decade with) and we commenced to having an awesome time Friday night. The Band's solos were bright and tight and in no uncertain terms: the Yamaha, Ovation and Tama Star Classic stuff was meticulously tuned. My senses were numbed during "Home of the Brave" and I ascended into disbelief during "These Chains". One little give away - my best moment came during the first song following a brief intermission. The Atlanta Symphony opened with a brilliant intro to "Childs Anthem" while the band was filing on stage. At the crescendo, the Boys blitzed the audience with a spatially joined all out attack and what developed was complete and utter audio / visual perfection! I have cold chills as I type this and I will never - ever forget that moment! The customers knew then that this was something special - even the casual observer was awed. Too bad that the local press missed this chance for a significant discovery / rediscovery. Nice to hear Luke expand a little on the continual poor press in the United States during the show. I'll close by saying that if you ever have this incredibly rare and wonderful opportunity before you, seize it by all means. It will surely impact your long term memory as an unmatched entertainment value!

Stephen McVey: Nice to see you again. Don't think that I've seen you since Las Vegas. Highest ratings for the website Dude. It is as good as they come and a lesser effort would not be worthy of this phenomenal band that we all know and love........................TOTO.

James E. Elick - Atlanta, Georgia


Since Toto rarely plays the United States anymore these days, it was quite a surprise to have them play my home town for this tour. The last time they played Atlanta was in 1993 for the Kingdom of Desire tour.

Upon hearing that they were playing at Chastain Park Amphitheatre with the Symphony, that made it even more surprising. For those that don't know, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) sponsors a concert series held at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre each year called 'Classic Chastain'. Most of these concerts are accompanied by a portion of the orchestra. Groups may range from Bruce Hornsby, Carole King, Al Jarreau, Amy Grant, Peter Cetera, etc. The group Boston also has played with the ASO. I was thrilled that Toto chose Atlanta for this type of concert.

Chastain Park Amphitheatre is unique in that it sits right in the middle of a pretty affluent residential section of Atlanta. Houses surround the outside of the amphitheatre which is the reason for the sound restrictions placed upon the venue. Another unique aspect about the amphitheater is it's atmosphere. Tables are set up in the pit in front of the stage and several rows up the amphitheatre on each side. Fans are allowed to bring in their own food, drink, candles, etc. You pack up dinner, grab some friends and go see a great show. However, the, as I like to call them, "the wine and cheese crowd" is prevalent due to the fact that most attendees are heavy duty donors or patrons of the ASO. That concerned me a little regarding the attendance for the show and I thought my fears would be confirmed when I saw an ad for the concert in the local Atlanta paper indicating that tickets could be had 2 for 1 with an on-line purchase. But, upon my arrival, I was glad to see that almost half the amphitheatre was filled (I would put the crowd estimate at between 3,000-4,000.)

My wife and I and three friends gathered at our table and proceeded to eat some good food, drink some good beer and wine before and during the show all under a beautiful low 80 degree star lit Georgia night sky. For those that don't know, low 80's to upper 70's in Atlanta in early August is UNHEARD of. Infact, a weather record for low temp. was broken for that evening. How appropriate to have such perfect weather for such a special evening?

Toto marched onstage at promptly 8:03 and ripped into Girl Goodbye. I thought some of those "wine and cheesers" in the front tables might lose it when Kimball was screaming towards the end. Too funny. They followed with Afraid of Love, I'll be over you, Africa (big ovation), Good for You, Georgy Porgy (full version), Stop Loving You (a surprise!) and Home of the Brave before they took a break for intermission.

In the second half, the sound, though not bad in the first set, seemed much better. The symphony performed a medly of Toto tunes (Fahrenheit, Dune, etc.) and then they played Child's Anthem with the band. Then came a couple of 7th One songs and a funny comment by Luke ("This next song was off our record the Seventh One which was a number one record.......in Europe. You guys have probably never even heard of it.") That got a good laugh from the crowd. Only the Children was followed by Pamela which has always been one of my favorites. It sounded great live! Better World was followed by the medley of songs that they had been performing recently overseas (Angel Don't Cry, Carmen, These Chains and Mushanga) with a comment from Luke that "these tunes are for our U.S. fans that have stuck with us all these years."

The guys wrapped up the show with I Won't Hold You Back, Rosanna, and Hold the Line as an encore. Sprinkled throughout the show were solo's by Paich, Lukather and Simon Phillips. My wife, not the musical expert by any means and recent Toto fan of 3 years since she met me and we married, was really impressed with the drum solo by Phillips.

All in all, it was a fantastic show! 11 years in the making. I want to say thank you to Steve, David, Mike, Bobby, Simon and Tony for coming to Atlanta to play this show. I had always thought way back when (late 80's) of how cool it would be to have Toto play Chastain Park with the ASO. And to think, of all the places they could have played in the U.S., they picked Atlanta and certainly made this lifelong fan very happy. Thank you guys and please come back soon!

R. Newton
Atlanta, GA.



I decided to go to Atlanta even when I live in Venezuela in South America.
For the first time I can afford a plane ticket to see Toto in concert after a long time. (Europe is too far for me)
Wow!!! First of all, The Atlanta Simphony Orchestra was perfect, adding an extraordinary touch to this great rock band with 40 veteran musicians. I couldn't believe see Toto rocking with 15 violinists playing "Better World" or "I wonít hold you back"...The only thing I know is I can die peacefull after this incredible night.
But that wasn't enough. Toto played Angel Don't Cry, Mushanga, These Chain and Carmen for the fisrt time in years, and I think Bobby Kimball "closed the circle" singing two songs from Isolation album.
Simon, Steve and Dave solos were just outstanding. It was a privilege see Mike Porcaro, a live legend from a great family of musicians.
In my opinion the best part of this concert was a really simphonic Childís Anthem...a moment that I'll never forget... music from heaven.
MuchŪsimas gracias.

Alfredo


We arrived in at a friend's house in Atlanta around 5:15 p.m. Friday, giving us 45 minutes to freshen up after a 7 hour drive from New Orleans. My wife and I, plus our two friends, ended up hitting the road at 6:15, grabbed a bite to eat, then pulled up at the Chastain Park around 7:30. Very light crowd at that time. Parking was a breeze. Picked up our tickets at "will call" then walked in. At that point, I wondered if I would be able to recognize Stephen (Sarlic) ... he said he might have the autographed cd I won from the album review contest. As we made our way down the steps to the box sets, that question was answered. There he was chatting it up with some folks. He looks just like his picture ... shades and all. (lol). Didn't interrupt him then ... I figured I'd catch up with him later.

Anyway, out seats were perfect. Close enough to the center to see the whole stage nicely. At that point, Stephen walked over, we introduced outselves, talked for a moment, he did have the cd (Thanks Stephen), then he was on his way to get ready for the show. About 20 minutes later, the symphony walked out and started warming up, indicating the show was about to start. Then, the band was announced, and before I knew it, I was experiencing my first Toto show. Girl Goodbye kicked it off. Just as stunning as the Live In Amsterdam version. I have to say, this is becoming one of my favorite Toto songs.

I won't go throught the set list as others have already done so. I will make a few observations. First, the band was on. The energy was there. They all seemed to be having a good time ... Bobby especially. Also, Luke was on fire. His solos were very fast. My favorite was his acoustic solo that led into The Road Goes On (one of my favorite songs off Tambu).

I thought David's voice sounds stronger than I've heard on any of the live records. Plus, I was surprised how much of The Seventh One was played. Being in America, IV was also represented well. Only one from Mindfields ... would have liked to have heard more from this. As for the rest of the band, Simon's drum solo smoked, Mike gets sooooo into the groove and Bobby's voice was in top form.

Lastly, as much as I want to say the orchestra filled out the sound, etc., it really wasn't much of a factor to these ears. Maybe it was where we were sitting, but the orchestra's volume probably should have been up a little bit. Plus, the songs played were pretty much rockers. Personally, I was worried that teaming up with the orchestra would mean more softer, lighter songs. Nope. Frankly, I was happy it worked out this way (no disrespect to the orchestra). Because, like I said, the band was on.

The show ended with Hold The Line. I had hoped they might have done one or two more encores, but the lights went up and the orchestra started getting up. All in all, the show was awesome. I was really impressed with the band's interaction with the audience throughout the show. Made for a fun and enjoyable evening. I do hope the band tours the states soon. I could make a habit of going to their shows (lol).

Stuart Feigley
(New Orleans, LA, USA)


Bobby, Luke, Mike

I have waited 10 years to see Toto in the U.S. after last seeing them in 1993. We went to the show in Atlanta Friday night and it was terrific! We had never been to Chastain Park and seeing Toto under the sky was really great. I was amazed at how far people travelled to see this band! (I came from Savannah, my friend from Pittsburgh and the couple next to us from Nashville). When I mentioned to some Savannah friends on Thursday night that I was going to see Toto- the response was a unanimous "wow, I didn't know they were still touring, I'd love to see them" (so what's up with the lack of record company promotion?)
As with the other reviews- concert was wonderful, played a great mix of the older songs, mixed with some Dune and Mindfields- the band is really at the top of their game. I'm ready to go to Europe to see them again!

Victoria Butler


Hi! Im not much for writing reviews but here is the exact set list from the August 6th show at Chastain Park in Atlanta. It was a great show. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra really added to the sound.
Thanks for the great web site!

Girl Goodbye
Afraid of Love
Iíll Be Over You
Africa
David Paich SOLO
Good For You
Georgy Porgy
I Cant Stop Loving You (sung by the touring guitarist Tony Spinner)
Home of the Brave

INTERMISSION

Orchestral Intro
Childs Anthem
Only the Children
Pamela!
Better World
Steve Lukather Acoustic SOLO
The Road Goes On (acoustic - Lukather only)
Medley
- Angel Donít Cry
- Carmen
- Daveís Gone Skiing
- These Chains
- Mushanga
- Simon Phillips DRUM SOLO
I Wont Hold You Back (newer version)
Rosanna

ENCORE
Hold The Line

Chris Cockrill
Panama City Beach, FL



A Big Southern Howdy y'all!

Well, it was a big warm welcome back after 11 years for the Toto boys here in The South! Long overdue indeed. Back in June, 1993 - they last played Atlanta (I found out about the show the next day!) - at a little venue here called the Variety Playhouse which is an old theater. But last night - they came back big time with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to Chastain Park Amphitheater. How perfect could this show have been?! We had horrible rainstorms on Thursday but by Friday the weather had cooled down from the blistering Hotlanta we all know and love to a more outdoor-venue friendly temperature and sunny blue skies with big white fluffy rolling clouds. No. Seriously. Maybe Jeff was smiling down. It sure felt like it.

The orchestra really added a lot to their show and pumped up plenty of the songs that already included orchestration as well as spicing up other tunes. This was a long show without an opening act and in my opinion was so satisfying to both the hard-core faithful as well as the rest of the audience who only knows up to Toto IV. They opened with "Girl Goodbye", which rocked; then kept that momentum and segmented into "Afraid Of Love" (one of my top 5 favorites), and then onto "Africa" where the crowd roared with approval. They had the crowd going for sure.

Dave was so animated at this show! He must have been in such a great mood. He was clapping his hands; cheering on the crowd; laughing and talking to the band; doing little dances behind the keys; and sounded incredible - as usual. It really brightened my day and put a big smile upon my face to see him performing that is for sure.

I loved how they managed to include bits and pieces of songs here and there through-out the night that showcased their career. It was great to hear Dave slip in a little of "99". Then there was that story by Luke about what Dave found written by Bobby Kimball late one night! That was hilarious.

"Good For You" sounded so Sweeeeeeet! Just perfect. During "Home Of The Brave", Dave did a quick change of lyrics and instead sang, "I thought I heard it late last summer - in ATLANTA with THIS drummer [pointing to Simon]..." So cool to have them right here in my back yard so to speak.

I was all about the opening to the second part of the show after the intermission. The sun had gone down allowing for all the vibrant colored lights to give the entire stage a warm glow. Very classy looking and fitting for this class act. The orchestra began part two without the guys and it was a melody of various parts of Toto's works including the opening from "Fahrenheit", a bit of "Dune" and some others thrown into this beautiful orchestration before the band came back to the stage to tear into "Child's Athem". Talk about perfect. Then came songs that Bobby wasn't around for. Just as I thought: he made them his own and in my humble opinion they really sounded better with him on lead! Stuff I never thought I would get to hear live: like, "Pamela", and the medley featuring, "Angel Don't Cry", "Carmen", and this was a pleasant surprise - "Mushanga". Not to mention Luke doing "These Chains"!
- What direction should I go - girl what's next for me, I - Don't Know!...Day by day...I feel them break!! Whoa oh ohhhh. -
Speaking of "The Seventh One"; I would love to hear Bubba on "Stay Away" someday. Wouldn't that rock the house.

Luke had great interaction with Matt the conductor who they asked to conduct the ASO as he is from Hawaii and conducted the symphony for their shows there. Luke was all over the stage all night: fiesty as ever - jumping on top of the speakers and letting his ax wail at all parts of the stage.

I Won't Hold You Back" was particularly lush with that big full sound. And incredibly beautiful. Luke's solo featuring "The Road Goes On" was quite touching and there were the faithful in the audience who of course sang the "whoa oh oh-oh"'s appropriately. That made me so dang proud of Atlanta. That song really gets to me on a very personal level.

Simon wowed the audience (and the ASO for that matter) with his drum solo. Then the big finale with "Hold The Line" and the entire amphitheater got on their feet and were really into it - singing along and clapping. Mike, steady as a rock, looked like he was really digging this gig and having a great time with the entire set. Mike seems like one cool cat and really a down-to-earth nice guy.

It was such a great day. I really can't tell you what it means to me. Seeing the Toto faithful was cool too: Sarlic, John, Phil, Pete and Sally, Joel and Leisha, Joey, Lenny, and even Sarlic's cousins. And the day wouldn't have been the same without hanging with Rick and Eddy!! (Thanks for putting up with me all day! The luck was all around.) And I thought about those Toto-heads who were not there but were in spirit - Fiona, Scott, Brenda, and of course Madam Sheri.

And I said a special prayer to myself and remembered Jeff. He would have been so proud of his fellow bandmates and the great time the audience had at this show. Very special indeed.

So there you have it. Toto: 3 - August 6, 2004 - Atlanta, Georgia. My third Toto show. I will be Toto-ized for some time to come....

NATHAN
The Road Goes On



I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Toto with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on August 6th at the Chastain Amphitheater in Atlanta. While I have seen over 30 Toto shows over the years, this represented my first Toto show with an accompanying orchestra.
What intrigued me most about this collaboration was how these two would come together as one. After all, no band is better than Toto (WE ALL KNOW THAT!!!) and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the best in the nation. However, all the talent in the world does not necessarily mean the chemistry will exist for a successful venture. Well...neither disappointed and both made the complex look very easy.
I will now include the setlist with some notes designed to give everyone a feel for what took place. This show had two one hour sets with a brief intermission.

INTRO: The orchestra played a beautiful string intro which the band walked out onstage to.
GIRL GOODBYE: With the lead of the orchestra, Toto blazed into this classic with Bobby's vocals soaring through the crowd. More of the traditional "Girl Goodbye" version as opposed to the reworked version found on the LIVE IN AMSTERDAM cd/dvd.
AFRAID OF LOVE: One of my personal favorites, Steve looked really happy cranking out this rockin' song and the fan appreciation was apparent for both his great guitar and dynamic vocals.
I'LL BE OVER YOU: What a perfect song with an orchestra. One of the main contributions I heard from the orchestra here was from their horn section, adding a little "spice" to the song. Steve's singing was great and the ending guitar work was reminiscent of LIVE IN PARIS '90 which, to me, was spectacular.
AFRICA: Paich's voice sounded as good as ever here and, in brilliant fashion, Mike's funky groovin' on bass and Paich's playing led into his (Paich's) soloing.
PAICH'S SOLO: A beautiful keyboard instrumental with strong elements of "99" present. The orchestra, as they did often when not involved, watched in awe as Paich mesmerized the crowd with complex playing made to look easy.
GOOD FOR YOU: I can't say enough on how much pleasure I received from hearing some of these lesser heralded songs being played. Always thought this song was a gem, and the live version pleased with great string contributions from the orchestra and a tasty string ending.
GEORGY PORGY: This song, whether people are true Toto fans or not, always seems to get people into the show even more. This "funky" tune is one I'd personally love to see Toto re-release in a similar to live version.
STOP LOVING YOU: Tony Spinner really sings this one well and the orchestra's strings and horns come through during the solo's beginning where Jon Anderson's background vocals were found on the studio track.
HOME OF THE BRAVE: Paich's strong convictions and love for the US and our troops come through in his opening remarks. A great trade off between Paich's and Bobby's vocals and the energetic soloing of Steve.

INTERMISSION

ORCHESTRA MEDLEY: Absolutely awesome orchestra playing with a medley of DUNE, CARMEN, and HOME OF THE BRAVE which creatively allowed the band to launch into CHILD'S ANTHEM, the energetic, brilliant instrumental found on Toto's debut 1978 cd.
ONLY THE CHILDREN: Tasty tune with Bobby handling the vocals. What I loved about this song live (besides the typically great playing!) was the sampled interjection of Joseph Williams's voice on the chorus ("Only The Children").
PAMELA: For me, this was Bobby's best moment of the night. He was brilliant all night, but this song, originally a Joseph vocal, shined live. A Toto masterpiece I'm happy to see live.
BETTER WORLD: A Toto treasure and a must for their live show, this song really allows the musicianship to shine through. A chance for the guys to stretch out on a song with a great message about what the world should be like.
GUITAR SOLO: As usual, Steve comes up with mind-blowing, energetic, and sometimes tempo-changing acoustic playing. This playing led into THE ROAD GOES ON, part of the acoustic set a few years back.
MEDLEY: With an intro from Steve, Toto embarked on a medley of ANGEL DON'T CRY, DAVE'S GONE SKIING, THESE CHAINS, and MUSHANGA. Besides hearing these awesome tunes live was the effective, creative way the band linked one song into the next, much like they did on last year's tour. ANGEL DON'T CRY rocked the house and flowed brilliantly into a portion of DAVE'S GONE SKIING. Loved the Latin-flavored groove from MUSHANGA and the smooth, soothing feel of THESE CHAINS, the classic ballad brilliantly written by Steve and Randy Goodrum.
SIMON'S SOLO: Simon blows my mind as his solos seem to always have different elements. Power, finesse, and a combination of the two. A disliker of the drums would instantly love the instrument because of what Simon can do. I WON'T HOLD YOU BACK: Steve sang well all night, but his voice was especially delicate and "Classic Steve" on this beautiful ballad. Beautiful string accompaniment.
ROSANNA: With every one on their feet, Toto delivered this tune to the joy of the enthusiastic crowd. This tune came complete with Steve's blistering solo, Paich's brilliant solo, and sharp trade off vocals between Steve and Bobby.
ENCORE: BAND AND ORCHESTRA INTRO and HOLD THE LINE. Everyone was still on their feet, and Toto and the orchestra completed their evening with the hit that put them on the music map and left to a standing ovation.

Much credit must go to some of the "unsung" heroes behind the scenes. Folks like Steve (AKA "Astro") who does an awesome job with the lighting and is a dear guy. "Dr. Lu" (also a Steve) who takes care of the keyboard technician work and is as genuinely nice as they come. Martin Cole, who runs a smooth ship, sees to every small and large detail, and keeps the band on schedule. Peter G. and the many talented and kind technicians who help make each show a work of art. Bobby Bradshaw, who has been with Steve Lukather forever and helps keeps things sharp for him. A big "HATS OFF" to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and conductor Matt Catinub. Hopefully Toto fans are now symphony fans and symphony fans now Toto fans.

Special love and thanks to Steve, Mike, Bobby, Simon, and David for their great show, kindness, and generosity towards me and their other fans. And last, but certainly NOT LEAST, sincere love and thanks to Peter and Sally Yablonsky from Apalachin, NY, Steve McVey from Wilmington, DE, and Len Ventura and Robbie LeBlanc from CT for their continued friendship and mutual devotion to the best band ever...TOTO!!! No Toto show would be the same without you all there!

My best to all Toto fans out there and here's hoping more shows with orchestras will take place. People embracing "true musicians" will embrace the opportunity to see you and orchestras live.
God bless.

John Marshall III
Newport News, Va.


TOTO and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra


This concert was one I've been waiting to go see since I first started listening to Toto back in the 80's. My best friend and I always said that if we find out they come within a 2 state radius of North Carolina, we're there. We missed the Nashville show in '99. Unfortunately, he couldn't make it with me, but I called him during the show and let him hear. The 4 hour drive down from Charlotte was well worth it. A beautiful night, not too hot, a classic amphitheater...smaller, not overblown like a lot of the modern facilities, and an outstanding performance by Toto and the ASO. It's such a shame that audiences in the U.S. don't appreciate this band like the European and Asian audiences do. Looking around the amphitheater seeing so many empty seats has to be depressing for a U.S.-based band, yet the guys played their butts off and cracked jokes about it nonetheless. Sadly, the only big reactions they received were for their big radio hits: "Africa", "Georgy Porgy", "Rosanna", "I Won't Hold You Back", and "Hold the Line". I will say that we were singing along with you, Luke, during "The Road Goes On"!!

Most of the setlist was already mentioned (except 2 mistakes...it was "Dave's Gone Skiing" and not "Jake to the Bone" and missing from the medley list was "Angel Don't Cry"). Using "Mushanga" to segue into Simon's solo was brilliant. From one drummer to another Simon, I'm speechless and humbled by your skills. Was pleasantly surprised to see Mr. Paich walk onstage. Everyone was saying before the show that it would be Greg.

My only compaints about the show were 1. The volume. I guess being that Chastain Park Amphitheater is in a residential neighborhood (and a high priced one at that - I hear that Sir Elton John's house is nearby), they have certain noise ordinances they have to abide by. It could have been much louder, to push up to the back of the amphitheater. I was in row T of the terrace and was DYING for it to be louder. 2. Seems like the sound tech was having some problems at times remembering to turn vocal mics back on (especially Bobby's when he was doing backups). 3. Wish the show could have been longer (again, the ordinances and probably the orchestra rates).

After the show, my wife and I wandered down to the front of the stage and hung out at a stage door, with about 20 other fans, for ANY member of the band to come out. Bobby finally came out and spoke to us for a few minutes (my wife was the blonde with the short haircut Bobby! "Really Really?!?" ) and gave a few autographs before the amphitheater gestapo (a.k.a. Event Staff) herded us out. He mentioned that the reason for the shorter show was due to the availability of charts for the orchestra and the ordinance. I guess if you're going to do a show with an orchestra, you can't afford to have them sitting around while you rock out for 2 extra hours (although WE would love it!!)

Thanks again for a wonderful evening of music...one I will never forget, but hope to do again soon. I hope you weren't too discouraged by your "testing of the waters" here in the states. You have many fans here holding the candle so-to-speak for you. Would love to see some more U.S. dates popup on the toto99 website.

Scott & Lauren Brower
Charlotte, NC USA



We were fortunate enough to see the greatest band in the world, TOTO, and the ATLANTA Symphony Orchestra this past Friday evening under the fabulous outdoors in GEORGIA. It was a picture perfect setting and the temperature for the evening could not have been any better.

We are huge TOTO fans, and have seen TOTO as many as thirty shows in the past six years. Saturday night was no exception to the fantastic quality of world class musicians performing live, but also we have now have had the privledge to see them perform live with a terrific orchestra, under the direction of Matt Catinub, Conductor. A night to remember forever. A special "THANKS" to Bobby, Steve, Mike, Simon, and Dave for a GREAT performance and to their always friendliness and caring of their fans. Luke, as always, impressed the audience with his playing, and turned many symphony fans into TOTO fans. His emcee work, his brillant electric solos, his great acoustic set, and smooth, overall, whitty approach to the whole evenings' events. Bobby's voice was absolutely incredible as he pulled off another night of flawless sound, and a credit to him performing a few TOTO songs that Bobby never previously had the opportunity to sing live in the US. Mike, yet once again brought along from LA a perfect "PORCARO groove" that ran all night. Simon's dynamics, given the challenging format with the orchestra, sounded great by putting the finishing touches on everything. His drum solo again was a mystery to us as to how he 'does it'. David's introduction to "HOME OF THE BRAVE" was heartfelt amongst the crowd as he cheered on and prayed for our troops. His mastery of the keys all night as well as a suberb voice during AFRICA really received great audience participation. The fans had the pleasure to see Tony Spinner's great rendition of "STOP LOVING YOU", plus his great background guitar and vocals all night. Martin Cole, tour manager, always remains calm, cool, and collected to pull off show after show. The incredible light show was in perfect sync with the sound and was most rewarding to watch. Great job "ASTRO". It was great meeting yet another "Steve" aka Dr. Lu. He is very cool, and helped pull it all together. Peter G. and "tech team" had everything in perfect form for what turned out to be a perfect perfromance. It was great seeing you all again.
Guys, do us all a favor and plan a US tour with orchestras throughout America. It would be a very well received treat and opportunity of fans of all music likes.

As always, it was a pleasure to spend the weekend with great friends John Marshall III, from Newport News,VA, Steve McVey "SARLIC" from Wilmington DE, Lenny Ventura, Robbie LaBlanc, from CT. True TOTO fans travel miles and miles to see and hear the "very best."

Sally & Peter Yablonsky
Apalachin, New York



OH YEAH!
What a night, What a night!!! By far the best concert that I have EVER been to. I wish that they had more US fans. The show was not sold out. But the guys sure know how to rock and have a good time at the same time! It was a double treat. Toto and the Atlanta Symphony. Two amazing sounds combined. The crowd wasnt as lively as I would have liked. And we were the only ones with posters dancing around like a bounch of morons. But thats Ok because we got their attention when we ran down to the stage!! (even though the security didn't care for us haha) We did get to meet Bobby and he signed our posters. Luke smoked the guitar as usual! Simon kicked major ***. As did Mike, D.Paich, and Tony Spinner. They played a good variety that Bobby said had to be choosen to accomidate the orchestra. he said that playing with the orchestra was like walking on the moon and hoped we enjoyed it. And yes we did enjoy it. More than you know! I made my fiance' come along..he wasnt too much of a fan. But after hearing them live and seeing their talent, he quickly changed his tone!! Its an evening that I will not forget anytime soon. Hopefully they will be able to come back this way again soon!!! Thanks Toto!

Shellie Walters


Just get back from seeing one of only Toto Concert in the US and I can tell you that this one is extra special. I got 3 different treat: The first, Toto comes in full force (Steve, Mike, David, Simon and Bobby with Tony Spinner as additional member); the second is the 40 piece Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO); and the third is the appearance of Bob Bradshaw as Steve Lukatherís guitar tech.

Man the shows really rocks. They start at 8.00 PM with Girl Goodbye and they sound unbelievable. With a full orchestra at their disposal, anything can happen and it did.
Iíll be over you, Home of the Braves, Pamela, Georgy Porgy, Canít stop loving, Good for you, Only the children, Africa are some of the classic that they play flawlessly (only some minor high note glitch by Bobby).

ASO pay homage to Toto by playing medley consisting of Fahrenheit, Dune and joining by Toto, they play Carmen, Jake to the Bone, Childís Anthem, These Chain and Mushanga (WOW a big surprise). I am telling you, Iíve seen Toto concert maybe 6 different times in 5 different country (Indonesia, Japan, Sweden, Netherlands and France), but with a full orchestra backing them, itís just totally different experience. It just sends chills.

I wonít hold you back (new arrangements), Better world, Angel Donít Cry, Rosanna and Hold the line were played flawlessly in the second sets. Three different solo by David Paich, Steve Lukather (Acoustic) and Simon Phillips are some of the highlight of the show. As always all of them are in the class of their own (Steve you are still the best in my book)

I think the guys are enjoying themselves (although the concert was not sold out) because they say they wanted to test "the water in the US". Even without a sold out concert they still give their all and that show their professionalism. I think these guys can play 12 hours straight because of their experience, but this last 2.5 hours are just the greatest Toto Concert I ever attended. I purchase a table (6 tickets) just about 30 feet from the stage... for Toto money is no object.

As for gears, Steve mainly uses 2 Ernie Ball "Luke" guitars and an Ovation acoustic with Custom Audio Electronics Preamp with minimal effect (Crybaby Wah, TC GForce, PCM70, ModPro, MXR, CAE switcher and effect), David Paich uses Yamaha Motif and Korg Triton, Mike use Peavey Mike Porcaro signature and Bass Pod Pro, Simon uses Tama, Tony Spinner uses Fender Strat and Bassman.

EDWARD MAMAHIT (Atlanta, GA, USA)


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