Last week Toto’s European ‘Dogz of Oz’ tour started with two club shows in the Netherlands. Later that week, on Thursday, the band played a sold-out open-air show in Bonn, Germany. All these shows were very good and were well received as you can still read in our review of the second club show in Tilburg last week. The band played a perfect and energetic set that left the audience gasping for breath.
Toto joined in for a big battle this evening. There were no fewer than 17,000 spectators in the Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, the largest indoor concert venue in the Netherlands. The show sold out in no time a year ago. The Dutch just love Toto. The set was kicked off again tonight with “Orphan”. It is indeed a statement from a band that is still razor sharp after more than 40 years at the top of the music scene. A showcase also for the reborn Joseph Williams. I know few rock singers who continue to sing so well. It seems he is just getting better as he gets older.
After “Orphan” the party really started. The rest of the set consists solely of crowd pleasers, as we could already hear during the first concerts. With “Hold the Line” and the ballad “I’ll be over you”, the audience is served a delicious starter menu ready to digest. For a reason, later to be revealed, the band replaced crowdpleaser “Stop Loving You” with “Till the End”.
The sound was more than fine in the Ziggo-Dome and the audience, ready to party with the band, was a cross-section of more than three generations. They thoroughly enjoyed the band that seemed to be reborn on stage. Still, there seemed to be something buzzin’ in the air. The normally laid-back, joking Lukather seemed a little tense. Joseph Williams seemed to be doing his best. He, too, clearly seemed to be carrying some tension.
The fact that Toto has included “White Sister” on the set list this time can safely be called a masterstroke. Even the people who didn’t know the song from 1979 got along with the energy with which Toto managed to fill the immense hall. Bobby Kimball, the singer who originally sings the song, will never sing the song again due to his advanced dementia, but the Dogz of Oz have no fewer than 5 singers in their ranks. “White Sister” thundered through the Ziggo dome like an invincible phoenix.
As a deep-cut, Toto boldly plays “Kingdom of Desire” from the 1992 album of the same name. Not “Don’t Chain my Heart”, the hit single of that time but the epic, growling and roaring “Kingdom of Desire”. Perhaps one of Toto’s most heavy tracks. Lukather dedicated the song this evening to Jeff and Mike Porcaro, thus emphasizing how important the members of the current and past Toto family are to him.
When the band arrives at the final of the set and there are only a few songs to go, it becomes apparent why Toto’s men seemed a bit tense. Amsterdam was chosen for what was to be a great moment, not only for the band but most certainly for the audience.
People around me got tears in their eyes and a huge cheer went through the Ziggo dome when the band took none other than David Paich, the founder of the band on stage to continue playing together. David Paich had said goodbye to touring due to health reasons. Since then he has remained involved with the band as musical director. But what happened here in Amsterdam was amazing. The emotions were palpable both from the band and the audience when David Paich was welcomed to the stage. What a beautiful, beautiful moment. People with tears in their eyes, friends hugging one another, and an older woman crying for pure joy.
“Home of the Brave” the epic song from “The Seventh One” hasn’t sounded like this in a long time. The original is with lead vocals by Paich and Williams. History was made in Amsterdam. With David Paich’s one-time return to the stage, the energy coming from the stage to the audience increased tenfold. A rare unique moment in recent rock history.
With the last tracks “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Rosanna”, “Africa” and encore “Stop Loving You” all with lead vocals by David Paich, this concert turned into a unique high mass of brotherhood and music. Toto wrote rock history in the Ziggo-dome in Amsterdam. Those who were there will remember it forever. Toto, with David Paich, said goodbye to their fans in the Netherlands under thunderous applause. We are looking forward to next time, and to an album in this line-up with which Toto can move forward again.