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Toto 35th Anniversary: Live In Poland Blu-ray Review

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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

Todd Erwin

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Posted May 02 2014 - 09:13 AM

Toto 35th Anniversary: Live In Poland Blu-ray Review

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 35 years since Toto’s self-titled debut album first arrived in record stores, including the radio hits Hold The Line, I’ll Supply The Love, and Georgy Porgy. The band has seen a lot of changes in its lineup over the years, and for this reunion tour, virtually everyone who was a member of the lineup at one time has returned, and the result is a trip down memory lane.


Cover Art


Studio: Other

Distributed By: Other

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080I/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English PCM 2.0

Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Other

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 2 Hr. 10 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

Blu-ray keepcase

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 04/29/2014

MSRP: $19.98




The Production Rating: 4/5

Toto was definitely a product of the 1980s, recording some of the decade’s biggest hits such as Rosanna, Africa, I Won’t Hold You Back (all from their triple Platinum Toto IV), Hold The Line, 99, etc. Named from the Latin word for “all,” Toto is a mix of various musical styles and genres, including rock, pop, R&B, funk, and jazz (they even dabbled in film music by composing the score for David Lynch’s Dune). Despite all of the ups and downs in the band’s popularity, tragedies involving two of the three Porcaro brothers, and the revolving door of lead singers, the Toto of today consists of the remaining original lineup (Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, and David Hungate) as well as Simon Phillips (replacing the late Jeff Porcaro on drums), Nathan East (filling in for bassist Mike Porcaro, currently suffering from ALS), and vocalist Joseph Williams. What holds the band together, and helps reflect their joy in performing together (which is extremely evident in this concert filmed before a sold-out crowd at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland) is the longtime friendships, many going as far back as high school in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.

This performance, filmed on June 25 in 2013, is a truly enjoyable 2+ hours of some of Toto’s greatest hits, and the band is definitely having a great time on stage together. The set list includes:
  • Intro 13
  • On The Run/Child’s Anthem/Goodbye Elenore Medley
  • Goin’ Home
  • Hydra
  • St. George and the Dragon
  • I’ll Be Over You
  • It’s A Feeling
  • Rosanna
  • Wings of Time
  • Falling In Between
  • I Won’t Hold You Back
  • Pamela
  • 99
  • The Muse
  • White Sister
  • Better World
  • Africa
  • How Many Times
  • Stop Living You
  • Hold the Line
  • Home of the Brave

As a filmed concert, director Blue Leach utilizes various approaches to several of the songs to keep it visually interesting, some successful, some disastrous. Black and white is used quite effectively on I’ll Be Over You. Split screens comprise It’s A Feeling. And to highlight David Paich’s keyboard solo and the band’s jamming session on Pamela, the image switches to a matted 2.40 aspect ratio. All of the above are also used sparingly throughout many of the other songs in the set, including the use of fluid camera movements across the stage, lipstick cameras mounted to David Paich’s keyboards and Simon Phillips’ drum set, and fisheye lenses above the audience. However, the bizarre and sometimes amateurish camera work on White Sister is the major disaster here, almost making the entire song unwatchable. All in all, though, fans of Toto will be delighted with this concert.



Video Rating: 4.5/5  3D Rating: NA

The AVC-encoded 1080i transfer is stunning, thanks in part to a healthy bitrate that rarely, if ever, drops below 30 Mbps, and has a nice film-like quality to it. As with most concerts, blues and reds are used quite heavily, as well as smoke machines, which can be problematic with home video formats resulting in blooming and/or compression artifacts. Those are virtually non-existent here. Colors are well-saturated and remain consistent (when they are supposed to), and detail is very good, capturing all of the beads of sweat dripping off the performers’ faces.



Audio Rating: 4.5/5

Two soundtracks are provided, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (averaging 5 Mbps) and a 24-bit PCM 2.0 stereo track (at 2.3 Mbps). Both tracks sound exceptional, the DTS-HD track obviously providing more discrete separation, slightly cleaner vocals, and a stronger low end. The PCM, though, still packs a good punch, with excellent bass response. Although subtitles are listed in the setup menu, they only apply to the Behind The Scenes bonus feature.



Special Features Rating: 4/5

Behind The Scenes (1080i; 20:14): The band has a fun time with one on one and group interviews discussing the history of the band and performing together again, interspersed with clips of sound checks and fans lining up for the show.



Overall Rating: 4/5

Fans of Toto will obviously enjoy this concert, as will fans of 1980s era pop music. The band’s enthusiasm and joy of performing comes through in this performance, and the audio and visual quality of this disc are excellent.


Reviewed By: Todd Erwin


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