Toto's 15th line-up finds its feet amidst smatterings of applause

Out now: Toto's With A Little Help From My Friends is live from North America

Toto - With A Little Help From My Friends
(Image: © Mascot Records)

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In October 2019 after their 40 Trips Around The Sun tour ended, we bade farewell to the fourteenth incarnation of Toto

Delayed by lockdown, Toto XV – led by stalwarts guitar wizard Steve Lukather and singer Joseph Williams – debuted last November with this socially distanced show for a handful of friends and family at LA’s SIR.

The smattering of applause at the end of each song is unsettling, although not as unsettling as the absence of Africa, and Lukather’s admission that they only play Hold The Line “because we have to”, but they’re still on fire. 

Being Toto, they’re obviously technically faultless, but airing the long-lost You Are The Flower for the first time since 2001 and other rarely aired gems such as Till The End and Kingdom Of Desire – played in its entirety, giving Lukather a chance to dazzle – has galvanised them. 

Co-founder David Paich appears for a two-song cameo at the end, and nothing here suggests this lineup won’t be vintage Toto.

John Aizlewood

As well as Classic Rock, John Aizlewood currently writes for The Times, The Radio Times, The Sunday Times, The i Newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and Mojo amongst others.  He’s written four books and appears on television quite often. He once sang with Iron Maiden at a football stadium in Brazil: he wasn’t asked back. He’s still not sure whether Enver Hoxha killed Mehmet Shehu…