With the band now dissolved (and with little chance of it coming back together), fans have to take all they can get when it comes to new Toto material. Originally founded in 1977, Toto quickly rose to fame as an ensemble band and repeatedly had sold out worldwide tours; although their popularity in the United States wasn’t at quite the level it was overseas. Through the years the band exchanged and lost band members aplenty before finally it was down to only one surviving band member: Steve Lukather. After a brief dustup via the official announcement of Toto disbanding on his website, fans haven’t had anything to look forward to…until Eagle Rock dusted the March 2007 concert off for a Blu-ray release.
Toto were formed in LA in the late 70’s by a group of friends who were all much in demand session musicians. They went on to epitomize the classic American pop/rock sound of the 80’s and 90’s with hit albums and singles including Hold The Line, Africa, I’ll Be Over You and the multi-Grammy® winning worldwide hit Rosanna. This concert was recorded at Le Zenith in Paris in March 2007 in front of a wildly enthusiastic sell-out crowd. It captures the band rocking at their hardest and most powerful and giving a new life to all their best-loved tracks.
Of course I’ve heard their more popular songs (“Hold the Line” especially, which I’ve heard in more films than I have on the radio), but before the concert I really didn’t know who Toto was. I’m just not a child of the era they were popular in and their sound is distinctively 80s…something I tend to skirt away from. But any time there is a mass gathering of members into one big super group, it’s always fun regardless…simply because you’re often taking seasoned musicians so right out of the gate they sound terrific. And even after 30 years, and various band members later, Toto still managed to sounds tight after all that time.
That’s really just a guess, however. I wasn’t big into their music as previously mentioned, but if they were that well put together in 2007, I can only imagine what they were like “in their prime.” A solid mixture of musicians always make for an entertaining time and Toto played their way through the almost two and a half hour set brilliantly. On top of that we had the individual musicians often able to showcase each of their talents, notably Simon Philips who pounded away one of the most impressive drum solos I’ve ever seen or heard.
So there’s plenty here to impress even uneducated and completely new listeners of Toto. For existing fans there’s just the excitement of watching their favorite band playing flawlessly. On top of that while the concert does boast older material, most of it is from their latest (and apparently last) CD, which shares the same name as this concert.
The full track list includes:
02) Falling In Between
03) King Of The World
05) Bottom Of Your Soul
06) Caught In The Balance
07) Don’t Chain My Heart
08) Hold The Line
09) Stop Loving You
10) I’ll Be Over You
12) Greg Solo
14) I’ll Supply The Love
16) Gift Of Faith
17) Kingdom Of Desire / Luke Solo
18) Hydra / Simon Solo
19) Taint Your World
20) Gypsy Train
22) Drag Him To The Roof
Overall a solid concert and one that comes Recommended.
Eagle Rock Entertainment packages this single disc concert in a standard Elite Blu-ray case with the usual array of double sided jackets/inserts and solid disc art. Menus are simple and easy to navigate. The real treat comes from the AVC encoded transfer which looks really good, although seeing as the concert is only two years old, that’s not terribly surprising. Like all of Eagle’s 1080i transfers there is a bit of softness at times, but also a great deal of detail on close ups. Mix in all of the stage lights and the massive crowd and you get some stunning visuals from beginning to end.
Audio once again arrives in three flavors: DTS-HD MA 5.1, DD5.1, and LPCM Stereo. The DTS-HD track obviously takes the lead, once again, but the LPCM track still sounds remarkably good if you have a receiver that can matrix it out to the other channels properly. It also has a lot more bass at lower volume levels than the DTS-HD track, but that one does breathe into the surrounds a great deal more obviously.
Extras are limited. The only thing here is a set of Interviews with all the members of Toto, but for fans they should be an interesting and entertaining outing. If you already own the original 2008 DVD release then really the only thing you’ll get from this new Blu is a bump in A/V…but for fans that should be enough of an excuse to pick up another concert of their favorite band. Recommended for newcomers, previous owners may want to Rent It before deciding to own it.
Toto – Falling In Between Live is now available on Blu-ray.