Toto has experienced a recent resurgence with Weezer's cover of "Africa" making the classic song a hit once again. The band never really went anywhere though. In fact, they have been traveling the globe in celebration of their 40th anniversary. The group filmed a March 2018 show before a capacity crowd at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam and that performance makes up the new DVD Toto - 40 Tours Around The Sun.
After some brief footage of the city, the show begins with a moody synth intro before giving way to "Alone," a new song from the band's greatest hits album. The song is at once up-tempo and melodic, a driving track with a fusion-inspired guitar solo from Steve Lukather. It has all the markings of classic Toto with its strong, yet accessible musicianship and vocals. "Hold The Line" follows and from the opening notes of David Paich's piano, the crowd is all in, singing along to every word. Singer Joseph Williams gives a strong vocal performance while Lukather expands on the song's solo with some wah-drenched leads.
Paich handles vocal duties on "Lovers In The Night." With its rollicking piano intro and blistering guitar leads it is a reminder that Toto is more than just perfect pop songs. On "Spanish Sea," the other new song from the hits collection (though it was a reworked old demo in this case), the band locks into a tight groove and showcases some killer harmonies. This sounds like classic-era Toto to be sure.
Lukather takes lead vocals on "I Will Remember," a laid back song that demonstrates Luke is not just a soulful guitarist, but also a soulful singer. The group continues the mellow vibe with "Lea," this time highlighting a powerful vocal from Williams. The group kicks it up though with a spirited "Roseanna," featuring a lively synth solo from Steve Porcaro.
Porcaro is also highlighted via the band's cover of "Human Nature," a song made famous by Michael Jackson, but written by Porcaro. The group gives a faithful rendition, even if Williams' vocal doesn't quite meet Jackson's original. Of course, the Toto guys are all over those Michael Jackson albums from their session days.
The band turns in a great cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," with Lukather handling vocals. His guitar leads blend Eric Clapton's original licks with some of his own for a compelling mix. On the aforementioned "Africa," the band delivers a 10-minute version with a sing-along portion and extended solos that never seem self-indulgent. The show ends, appropriately enough, with "The Road Goes On," a fitting track given the band is 40 years into their career.
The video is presented in 16:9 and looks great. Audio options include Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Surround Sound. Also included is The 40 Tours featurette, with interviews from the band members.
Forty years on, Toto has proven they are more than just "Africa." With killer songs and musicians with chops to match, the band has carved out a great legacy of melodic rock for itself. Toto - 40 Tours Around The Sun shows a group having fun and delivering their considerable catalog as well as it ever has.