One of the greatest pop and rock bands on this planet, Toto, has survived several decades. They are still strong. And they will perform all over Europe, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Welcome guys!
Berlin, November 21, 2020. Update: March 27, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — It’s hard to believe, but back in the days of what they called adult oriented rock (AOR) in the late 1970s and early 80s, quality really mattered. Fans of “real music” didn’t care about pretty faces or big breasts. They wanted the sound that kills, the compositions, the arrangements and the “feeling”.
Open-minded and innovative
In 1978, Toto’s self-titled debut album was released. “What is Toto?” people might have wondered. But the minute they played this work of art on their record players, they knew this American band equaled perfection. Toto delivered AOR at its best, even though the AOR era was just beginning. They co-invented the genre.
Those who listened more closely would discover that hardly any band before Toto had ever sounded as clean and crisp as they did. There was also a Funk trend. While most rock bands at the time rejected that kind of approach and sounded dry as a result, Toto was open-minded, innovative and progressive. In short: They nailed it.
The ‘Toto’ album includes their dance floor filler hit ‘Hold the Line’. ‘You are the Flower’ is a very sophisticated AOR piece. With ‘Georgy Porgy’ they got back on the funky side of things with singer Cheryl Lynn. This track became an AOR and Funk anthem.
Another extraordinary title is part of this first album: ‘Takin’ It Back’. Those synths, the surprises the melody contains regarding its arrangement, and the whole composition are nothing short of sensational. Steve Porcaro, an original member who is still their keyboard player today, composed this one when he was just 20 years old.
There were things that a lot of other bands didn’t have, but Toto had, including that level of genius. No one else has featured singers like Bobby Kimball either. On top of all that, there was Jeff Porcaro who revolutionized Pop and Rock drumming.
Toto’s second album, ‘Hydra’, was also more than excellent, but somewhat different. They took a more mystical approach, like Genesis or Yes. But that aspect didn’t stop them from delivering brilliant AOR tracks as well, in 1979. The ballad ’99’ is a good example. It’s too good to be true.
‘Rosanna’ and ‘Africa’
In 1982, something big happened: Toto’s fourth studio album, “IV”, hit the ground running. This made them global superstars. On ‘IV’, the brightest ‘AORish’ track is ‘Waiting for Your Love’, but it was ‘Africa’ radio stations all over the western world that couldn’t get enough. This one played every five minutes. “Rosanna” was another huge hit.
Over time, Toto had more success. From a 1970s AOR perspective, many of their new compositions were different, again. Some of them sounded like they were made to please formatted radios. But their huge fanbase all over the world, especially in North America, Europe and Japan, has always been, and still is, with them.
Tragedy strikes in 1992
Members of Toto have also performed with – and produced albums for – other artists, including Boz Scaggs. Toto’s unique blend can be identified in many of his amazing songs.
On August 5, 1992, tragedy struck. After spraying his garden with insecticides, Jeff Porcaro, the genius drummer and brother of Steve, collapsed. He died in hospital that day. The group and the world were shocked. He was only 38 years old.
Back to Germany
Besides Steve Porcaro, original members David Paich and Steve Lukather are still with Toto today. The group of bands is very active and they are returning to Germany. On July 14, 2022 they will perform in Bonn. On the 16th, it’s Halle’s turn. Further Toto concerts are planned in Tüssling on July 20, 2022, in Hamburg on July 27 and in Schwetzingen on July 28 and in the Austrian city of Graz on July 29, 2022.
It’s getting better: They will also perform their great shows in Amsterdam (July 15, 2022), Pratteln, a location in Switzerland (July 19), Middelkerke, Belgium (July 21, 2022), Vitrolles, France, Warsaw, the Swedish cities of Helsingborg and Gothenburg as well as in Copenhagen and Viborg in Denmark. Due to the cursed Corona pandemic, these European concerts had to be postponed several times.
More information is available at Toto’s website. Tickets for German concerts can be bought here.