By Carlos Oen
Centre for the Performing Arts
July 30th, 2018
Toto celebrated 40 years as one of the best bands rocking (and progressive jazzing) on planet Earth. A crowd of all colours and ages came to the Center in Vancouver for the Performing Arts to listen to these living legends play some of their greatest classic rock hits.
“It is hard to make a set list for this band,” said lead singer Joseph Williams.
While playing “Lea,” guitarist Steve Lukather looked sharp with his pointy white shoes with black dots, and played even sharper a beautiful blue guitar. Although the band was not complete – keyboardist David Paich stayed behind, recovering from the last European tour.
Canadian concert etiquette threatened to stain the performance, but just as “Rosanna” was starting, Williams saved the day. “Stand up! Let’s have some fun,” he said to a crowd that accepted the emancipation invitation and started singing out loud. “You guys can sing!”
For some time, the concert became something like a workshop. Sorter versions of “Georgy Porgy,” “Holyanna” and “Stop Loving You” were followed by anecdotes and recognition to their writers.
Two unexpected covers surprised a pleased audience. First came George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which was honoured with a long and dramatic guitar solo. The second cover was “Hash Pipe” and was directed to Weezer in response to their cover of “Africa.” “This is our tribute to Weezer, god bless ’em,” said guitarist Steve Lukather.
Yes. They did play “Africa.” Williams made sure everyone hum to the recognizable introduction melody. What followed was a rhythm delight under a bright yellow light, executed by percussionist Lenny Castro.