Gig review: Toto, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

MORE than three decades after the hits which drew this sell-out crowd, American soft rock behemoths Toto finally made their first ever live appearance in Glasgow, cramming an arena-sized show with heavy duty lighting rig into a decorous concert hall.

Toto made their first ever live appearance in Glasgow. Picture: Wiki Commons


Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

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Rating: * * *

Still boasting much the same line-up of high school friends and gifted former session players in guitarist Steve Lukather, the picture of rich LA rocker health, top-hatted pianist David Paich providing the vaudeville interjections and vocalist Joseph Williams handling those all-important high notes, Toto have faced down cultural extinction and continue to roam the world with a mix of hard rock, power balladry and technical virtuosity which dutifully ignores any musical developments of the past 30 years, instead presenting a heritage snapshot of an era when the size of your drumkit really mattered.

Burn was a masterclass in harnessed pomp power, the pacey AOR of Orphan showcased their slick FM radio chops,White Sister offered sophisticated blues boogie with an MTV sheen, while the prog pop suite Great Expectations was played out at dynamic length. There was less musical or entertainment value in the gurning heavy rock passages but indisputable soft rock anthem Hold the Line perked up proceedings.

While Lukather’s guitar shredding was greeted with standing ovations, there was nothing to beat the hits for galvanising the room. The shifting rhythms and strong hooks of Rosanna survived the distracting solos, while the earnest, soaring Africa remains their most accomplished period piece.