TOTO displays Musical Excellence at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park!


TOTO guitarist, Steve Lukather and vocalist, Joseph Williams.

All photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.

If you’ve never heard or have heard, TOTO in concert; I suggest you attend of their shows while they’re on tour. Of all the shows I’ve attended in decades, this band clearly out-performed musically! Age hasn’t affected these veteran musician’s, nor has the the loss of some original members. TOTO still excels with the performances of their new and older material with newer musicians as if they are on some magical stage with individual musical perfection, superb vocals and sound.

For decades TOTO skipped the USA with extensive touring overseas. The last 3 years have changed their tour itinerary to include many cites across the USA! Some of you might think TOTO is just “Pop Rock”? This band performs a variety of music from rock to progressive rock, blues and jazz to perfection! But it’s the passion of their performance and caliber of their music, that separates TOTO from any other band. The band does this with ease, nightly! Trust me, TOTO is the finest band to see and hear today!


Keyboardist/vocalist – Steve Porcaro.

All photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles

The Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park was rocking through the night, once TOTO hit the stage. While mostly an older crowd was in attendance, it was nice to see some of the younger fans recognizing great musicians and music. Toto kicked-off their two-hour set with “Child’s Anthem” and a rousing rendition of “I’ll Supply The Love” from their debut album. With the fans clearly on their feet in praise, TOTO moved into “Stranger in Town” from 1984’s ‘Isolation’ album with its dark backing vocals cascading through the venue. The chorus was lush with Joseph William’s vocals prominently clear and strong.

Toto launched into “Holy War” from their latest album, ‘TOTO XIV’. Once again, Joseph Williams vocals were crisp and smooth. The band was precise and Steve Lukather choppy guitar riffs accented throughout the tune. The syncopation of the band was great as it gave you the impression it was in odd-time signatures, even though it wasn’t. With Steve delivering a staccato guitar solo, this song was a joy to the senses! “I Won’t Hold You Back” slowed down the tempo with it’s beautiful piano introduction by David Paich. Steve Lukather delivered a sensitive and touchingly rich, lead vocal. The male and female backup singers were phenomenal too!

Another classic from the TOTO debut album, “Georgy Porgy ” was performed as the fans rose to their feet. The band was fantastic with stunning vocals in the tightly arranged tune. It was a treat to hear Paich and Lukather exchange patterns of blues and jazz tinklings between each other. The dynamics and jumping style of “Georgy Porgy” was a treat to hear as the band dusted this song out of their extensive catalog of great tunes.

Next up was a new song, “Burn” off of ‘TOTO XIV’. Joseph Williams was sweet with his vocals and the backup singers were incredible. The Drummer and the percussionist produced a tribal feel with their heavily accented sticking! A powerful new song from TOTO! “Afraid of Love” was a pleasant surprise from TOTO as they rocked through this hearty tune with Steve Porcaro on synthesizers and Paich on piano performing like two mad scientists. Loved this tune from ‘Toto IV’, it’s been forever since I’ve heard it!

“Bend” was performed as the spotlight converged on keyboardist/vocalist Steve Porcaro. Steve rendured a soft smooth vocal with backing from Williams. The short tune was received well by the fans. David Paich was featured next for his “spotlight performance” with a incredible piano solo. David also played with the crowd on whether to wear his famous Top-hat or a Cleveland Indians cap. Of course, the Tribe cap won the applause.

Next, Paich introduced the new song “Great Expectations”, from ‘TOTO XIV’ which showed TOTO’s versatility in the progressive rock arena. The band were so majestic, tight and meticulous it blew my mind. Joseph Williams spearing vocals, the odd time signatures, intense complex rhythm’s were a wonderful experience. You would’ve thought this was a song by YES! Complex, layered with epic and anthem moments of grandeur and musical rounds. This is a stunning masterpiece!  Observing and listening to “Great Expectations’ was worth the price of the ticket alone.

All photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.

I ‘ve got to tell you the legendary percussionist, Lenny Castro was incredible to watch all night long. This man has a huge setup of gear and moves about his percussion shed in an form of art. The energy, regimented parts and scalability of his fortitude are incredible! His precision of accenting and creating an environment of depth is unbelievable.

TOTO slowed down the set with “Without Your Love” from 1986’s, Farenheit album. ‘Luke’ handled the lead vocals and it was a nice change of pace. The notable TOTO background vocals were a nice abstract. But the guitar solo was inexplicably fluid and quick.


All photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Next, TOTO covered the old Robin Trower tune, “Bridge of Sighs”. Steve Lukather shined like Jimi Hendrix on acid! This heavy hitting tune was performed deep in a hard rock/blues mode with Lukather showing everyone why he is one of the best guitarists on the planet! Steve nailed the song with a plethora of sounds, searing with agility, speed and passion! From harmonics, tonal effects and blistering shredding, everyone in attendance new who the King was. A truly remarkable experience to witness! A well-deserved standing ovation was received for Mr. Lukather.


Keyboardist/vocalist – David Paich.

All photos: © 2016 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Pianist/vocalist, David Paich told us the story how he use to drive his landlord and neighbors  crazy practicing this little piano ditty in his apartment in LA. He spoke about how fortunate he was to grow up and be around the Porcaro’s household practicing with his friends in the garage of Joe Porcaro. Out of that little piano introduction wound up being the massive hit, “Hold The Line”. The song sound as fresh as the day it was recorded. The crowd were on their feet singing along and having a great time too!

The Road Goes On” was dedicated to Jeff and Mike Porcaro. Steve’s luscious vocals and touching lyrics were absolute perfection! The beauty of this tune with its backing vocals, provides a lifting message for all! The band followed with another new tune from ‘TOTO XIV’ entitled, “Orphan”. Once again the band resonated a touching message of defeating despair with hope for survival. Joseph Williams delivered the lead vocals and the bridge was rapid fire between Lukather and bassist, Leland Sklar, who stood in the shadows and performed with ease throughout the night!

The final tune before the encore was “Rosanna”. The bopping, jive tune was a treat to hear. I loved the bridge section where David Paich and Steve Lukather spice things up and trade licks infused with blues and jazz. The band is marvelous throughout this tune, creating a vibe that’s sweet! The drummer gave us a brief solo of fills near the end of the song.

TOTO returned to the stage with the cheers for an encore to perform, “On The Run”. The blistering tune began with the drummer and percussionist producing an epic sound. I love this tune, it flowed with charm and splendor with big vocals by Williams and company. The pervasive keyboards and guitar inner workings were stunning to witness. Big sound layered with epic musical movements. “On The Run” was followed into “Goodbye Elenore”.

Perhaps the highlight above all, was TOTO’s performance of “Africa”. The percussion introduction was fantastic and the fans were on their feet. I was amazed at the vocal clarity onstage. I haven’t heard a band sound this good since Journey (live) in 1978. The chorus was out of this world! Strong, bold and clean. David Paich danced about the stage with the female backup singer and the whole band was explosive. The dynamics of “Africa’ were also astounding!

Lenny Castro delivered a mammoth incredible solo along with the accompanied of the drummer! Trading percussion patterns followed by a crowd sing-along to the African language vocals initiated by David Paich adding to the crowd participation as the party continued. “Africa” progressed with keyboards and another solo by Steve Lukather riding into the last chord!

Don’t miss TOTO on tour, they are simply amazing!



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Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.


  1. I LOVE Toto. But the “scalability of his fortitude?!”
    Are you kidding? Try speaking English when you write.
    And it would have taken you two minutes to find out that “the drummer” is Shannon Forrest. Just lazy.

  2. Thank you Vic. I might add it would take 2 seconds to find out the female backup singer is Jenny Douglas Foote. She’s only been with the band for the past 2 or 3 decades.

  3. And the male backup singer is Mabvuto Carpenter.

  4. But other than that, thank you for giving this band the great review they deserve!

  5. Greatest band of American diversity in a multitiude
    of genres! They lay it down with pure talent n creativity!
    Original to the 10th power/ and that is why I attend so many concerts waving my Toto Turn Back album sleeve!
    thank u from the Bottom of my soul!!!

  6. Pierce Fillmore says:

    You are so enthusiastic about this band and this show. Yet nearly every sentence contains a grammatical error. Also, I agree with the above comment, “Speak English when you write.”

    This extremely poorly written review completely deters from the subject, which is how much you really love this band. Thsee deficiencies severely deflect from your credibility and likely prevents readers from taking the subject seriously.

    Get a good editor, and repost!

    • I think you mean “completely detracts from the subject…”!!!! You need to get it right if you’re going to criticise grammar!

      • You are right. “Detract ” is a better word than “deter” in this case. Now let’s get the author on board with accepting constructive criticism, because every single sentence he writes is flawed.

        Those disciples of TOTO already have no discretion when it comes to reviews. But if you are going to try to convince the rest of the world about the greatness of this band, you’re going to have to step up the quality of writing.

        This review may say everything that Toto fans want to hear, but it would be recognized unilaterally as poorly written. That is my pointrue. Try being less defensive of constructive criticism.

  7. Great review, you like the band and are proud they played at yout venue. And grammer, well if that s so important pierce filmore. Edit your post and spell the word these correctly please. Toto is always great to hear and se live.

  8. This guy is not exaggerating.
    I 1st caught TOTO live for TOTO IV tour as a kid and they blew me away. Inexplicably, the seem to be refining the mastery they already had years ago and sound better and better every time I see them. These dudes are musical ninjas.

  9. Thanks for this great review! I’m from Hong Kong and many die hard Toto fans live in Hong Kong, but we have yet to witness the greatness of Toto performing in our city. We normally have to fly to Tokyo to see them and it’s definitely worth doing so each time. We hope to see Toto finally in Hong Kong on their 40th Anniversary Tour in 2018/19. It should be an epic tour. Here’s also hoping that Toto will continue to record, albeit only once every several years. TOTO XIV is way too awesome for it to be their final studio album! The world needs Toto to continue writing, recording and performing new music to educate those who criticize them, who have yet to learn how to appreciate quality music of this level. We all need Toto to continue to inspire us! Wishing Toto all the best and hope to see them in Hong Kong on their next tour of Asia!

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