Through the years, the members of Toto have been better known for their session work than for Toto itself. Artists as diverse as diverse as Michael Jackson, Judas Priest, Paul McCartney, Miles Davis and Boz Scaggs, among others, have had recordings graced with one or more members of Toto. Still, the band has managed to carve out a successful career for itself with many hits. In 2013, the group reunited with vocalist Joseph Williams and keyboardists David Paich and Steve Porcaro to celebrate its 35th anniversary. A June show from Poland was filmed and makes up the new Blu-ray Toto - Live In Poland: 35th Anniversary Tour.
The show opens with the melodic hard rock of the "On The Run/Child's Anthem/Goodbye Elenore Medley." For those only familiar with the band's pop hits, this opening medley's heaviness may be of some surprise. Guitarist Steve Lukather offers a powerful, descending guitar riff and Williams' vocals are strong. "Goin' Home" finds the band veering into power pop territory, with Williams trading vocals with Paich and bassist Nathan East while Lukather's guitar rings in accompaniment.
"St. George And The Dragon" betrays its title by being a keyboard-driven pop song. The band's harmonies are killer, as is Lukather's guitar tone on this number. Lukather handles lead vocals on the ballad "Ill Be Over You," offering many tasteful, bluesy guitar fills. While Lukather's voice has aged somewhat, he still gives a soulful performance here. Likewise, his vocals on the hit "I Won't Hold You Back" are full of emotion.
The drum intro from Simon Phillips signaling the beginning of "Rosanna" elicits a strong response from the crowd, with one audience member even crowd surfing! Lukather shares vocals with Williams in this lively rendition. Lukather takes to acoustic guitar on "The Muse," delivering delicate leads over a lush keyboard backdrop before seguing into a hard-rocking "White Sister," which showcased Williams' powerful vocals.
Paich and Williams share vocals on a lively "Africa," garnering a great crowd response in the process. The audience was similarly enthusiastic for the opening piano notes of "Hold The Line." Williams gives a powerful vocal and duets with backup singer Amy Keys during the second verse of this signature song. The group closes on a high note with "Home Of The Brave." Paich and Williams share vocal duties on this rousing final track.
The Blu-ray is in 1080i High Definition Widescreen 16:9 and is well filmed. While there are occasional split screen effects, they do not take away from the enjoyment of the show and, thankfully, the film crew actually stays on shots longer than half a second, unlike many concert videos. Audio options include DTS HD Master Audio and LPCM Stereo. The audio is clear and powerful throughout. A behind the scenes documentary is included as a bonus feature.
With talks of a new album, the group is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Over the past 35 years, the band has built a reputation for being excellent musicians, as any of the numerous artists they have played with will attest. Live in Poland: 35th Anniversary Tour proves they are also a great band that still enjoys playing live.