So me and the Tune Dude (aka, Jeff James ace bass player, and former head of Ichthus), and my sister Laura, and my doctoral student (see top picture) Jason Myers, went on a little jaunt up to O-HI-O (crank up Neil Young and the boys), to see a classic rock concert– Dave Mason opening for TOTO! Now Toto rarely gets anywhere close to where I live, they don’t tour much any more– after all this is their 35th year, and they have lost some major parts along the way. God bless Jeff Porcaro, now gone, and his brother Mike who has ALS and can’t do it any more (leaving us with only Porcaro– Steve seen above jumping around near his keyboards). It also leaves us with two original members– Steve Lukather, the axe man cometh, and David Paich. It’s enough to still give you a genuine Toto experience, full throttle. And LOUD!!! DID I MENTION IT WAS LOUD! I must be getting too old for these sorts of concerts. Not!
Now as for the concert itself it was quite good…and loud, and good and loud. Dave Mason was ‘feelin alright’ (one of the songs he wrote for Joe Cocker). He played for about 45 minutes. He was an original member of Traffic, and so he played some of the early songs he helped write for them (Dear Mr. Fantasy, 40,000 Headmen). It was fine, and he had a good young guitar/mandolin player with him…. but his bass player looked like Bob Dylan– no lie.
Toto got going close to 9 p.m. and were still blasting forth at 10:45. We got lots of hits Rosanna, Africa, Hold the Line, Pamela, and much more including some from their more recent albums like “Falling in Between”. The surprise was that they had as their bass player Nathan East– who is an awesome bass player who usually plays with smooth jazz groups like Fourplay.
They also had a surprise extra lead singer– Jason Williams. Who is Jason Williams you may ask??? He is the son of the great movie soundtrack composer John Williams. And he has a good tenor voice. Turns out, he helped Toto write some of their songs way back, and they have been friends for decades. He was better than adequate. The real centerpiece of the show of course was the guitar playing of Steve Lukather aka LUKE, who was certainly feeling the force. He truly is and has been one of the greatest rock guitarists ever ever.
We all had a blast at this show, and didn’t get home until 1:20— but it was totally worth it. Totally dude—- ROCK ON!