25th Anniversary: Live in Amsterdam [DVD]

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Toto's career has been a rather strange one. Several top-flight Los Angeles session musicians -- many of whom performed on Boz Scaggs' classic 1976 album Silk Degrees -- formed Toto and achieved instant success with their 1978 self-titled debut album. Commercial success was fairly consistent, but many critics never liked Toto and the band's pariah status was forever sealed when 1982's Toto IV won the Grammy award for Album of the Year. Toto found their selling power in the U. S. fade in the '90s while their star status in Europe and Asia shot upward; their mainstream U.S. pop/rock style probably sounded exotic to overseas audiences. Despite several personnel changes, the band never gave up. They celebrated their 25th anniversary with a concert at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on February 17, 2003. This show was filmed for the enjoyable DVD 25th Anniversary: Live in Amsterdam (a CD version is also available). Vocalist/guitarist Steve Lukather, vocalist/keyboardist David Paich, vocalist Bobby Kimball, bass guitarist Mike Porcaro, and drummer Simon Phillips (along with supplemental guitarist/background vocalist Tony Spinner and keyboardist/background vocalist John Jessel) were on tour promoting 2002's covers album Through the Looking Glass when they made this recording, and the DVD finds Toto performing giant hits such as "Africa," "I Won't Hold You Back," "Rosanna," and "Hold the Line" along with plenty of intriguing album tracks. "Girl Goodbye," "Goodbye Elenore," "Child's Anthem," and "I'll Supply the Love" open the show in the form of a lengthy medley. "Gift with a Golden Gun" is one of the in-concert rarities. Through the Looking Glass is represented by the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," Steely Dan's "Bodhisattva," and the Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You." (It's interesting to note that while many Toto members had performed on Steely Dan recordings, "Bodhisattva" and its parent Countdown to Ecstasy are exceptions.) A second marathon medley compiles "Waiting for Your Love," "Georgy Porgy," "Lion," "Hydra," "English Eyes," and "Till the End." One of the big surprises is a moody portion of 1984's Dune soundtrack followed by "Don't Stop Me Now." "Home of the Brave," and "White Sister" as effective encores. The DVD also includes behind-the-scenes silliness shot in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and France on the tour.

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