Fireworks

Toto / The Darkness http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/8e/88/3a/Toto-thumb-23-1562081281.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     July 02, 2019    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
1518   0   1   0   0   0

Toto / The Darkness - Royal Hospital Chelsea, London (UK) - 13 June 2019

When it comes to memorable or special gigs, sometimes it's not always just the performance and the actual headline act that make it so; this show was one of those occasions. The concert itself was part of the Live At Chelsea 2019 event that was being held at the Chelsea Royal Hospital which is home to the legendary Chelsea Pensioners. The location was more like a country estate than a hospital and as soon as you entered the grounds it was clear this was not the usual sort of gig you would attend at Wembley Arena or the O2 Dome. There was a VIP area with tables and umbrellas, a huge bar tent, multiple food stands (including pizza, a bakery, curry, burgers) and a plethora of picnic tables/benches that spanned the length of the facilities area. The performance arena was set up within the Charles II courtyard (Figure Court) which was surrounded on three sides by the hospital buildings with a temporary stand, floor seating and the stage at the far end. It is a slight shame that the weather was somewhat poor as it was the perfect location for sunning yourself on the grass with a beer in hand as you waited for the show to start. I have to give immense credit to the organisers as they did a great job on every front. My only early concern was the fact that I am not a fan of all-seated gigs and this was set up as one, but once again those in charge had anticipated this eventuality. The whole thing reminded me very much of the Bryan Adams show I went to many years ago as part of the Route Of The Kings set of concerts at Hyde Park. I think an old friend hit the nail on the head by simply summing that night up as being "a bit bloody posher than the normal Rock gig" and that could be equally applied to tonight.


Darkness


Having soaked up the atmospheric location and enjoyed the facilities, it was eventually time for the show to start. The support act tonight was The Darkness who I had seen many years earlier when they opened for Def Leppard and always liked (even though I had failed to see them again since then). Known for being a bit riotous, I wondered if there would be some expectations given the prestigious location, such as no swearing, but when they opened with 'Givin' Up' it appeared that wasn't the case. Justin Hawkins was clearly in mischievous mood from the off; he told everyone as long as they didn't cross the red ropes, everyone was welcome to come down the front and dance, but he was quickly informed this wasn't the case and that those who wanted to stand or dance had to do so from the side... which is exactly where I had positioned myself. There were more fan favourites from their fantastic 'Permission To Land' record with 'Growing On Me' and 'Love Is Only A Feeling' before the band jumped to their 'Pinewood Smile' album for 'Japanese Prisoner Of Love'. The eight-song set continued with a lively rendition of 'Black Shuck' (complete with audience participation) and then it was time for possibly my favourite Darkness track in 'One Way Ticket' which went down a storm from where I was stood. My earlier expectation regarding behaviour was confirmed when 'Get Your Hands Off My Woman' came to a close with a slightly different ending. Hawkins confirmed that he was told to watch the swearing, and then proceeded to unquestionably launch himself far and away over the line of expected etiquette with a C-bomb (alongside a few drug-based jokes through the set). They closed their support slot with a barnstorming performance of 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love' where a large number of the audience boogied and danced away. Although Hawkins was a bit buried in the mix vocally and the crowd weren't quite as animated as you might expect at a "normal" Darkness gig (although most people looked like they were having a good time), I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them again. It has certainly fuelled my wish to see them headline again where hopefully there will be an outing for the gloriously titled 'Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)'.


Toto-3

The half-hour interval would normally be plenty of time for a loo break and beer top-up, but given the more spaced out nature of the venue it was a bit tighter than normal to get back to the seat. Toto soon appeared on stage and kicked off with 'Devil's Tower'. It took people a couple of songs from The Darkness to decide to move to the set-aside standing area on either side of the seating blocks, but for Toto most people (including myself) had made the same decision again by the first chorus. Toto didn't waste too much time before they got stuck into a "well-known" number with 'Hold The Line' being the second song of the set and it should come as little surprise that it got quite a reaction from the audience. The weather had held off for the most part up to this point, but the rain started to come down heavier during the headliner's set; however, it failed to dampen spirits and everyone simply got out the rain jackets or ponchos before carrying on regardless. The set-list contained stuff from right across the band's catalogue with the likes of 'Lovers In The Night', 'Alone' (from their latest '40 Trips Around The Sun' release), 'I Will Remember' and 'English Eyes'. The musicians in Toto are all immensely talented performers so it didn't come as much of a shock to me that they were given their moment to shine with a lengthy instrumental number entitled 'Jake To The Bone'. If I am brutally honest, it was a bit long-winded for my taste but there can be no denying it was impressive to witness.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


Like many veteran bands these days, the core line-up has been expanded to include more than your basic drums/bass/guitar/vocalist formation. The line-up tonight comprised drummer Shannon Forrest who was aided by the talented percussionist Lenny Castro, while there were also two keyboardists with long-time member Steve Porcaro and the exceedingly (and ridiculously) impressive Dominique "Xavier" Taplin on a second bank of keys. The remainder of the band was made up by sax/flute player Warren Ham, bassist Shem von Schroeck, the legend that is Steve Lukather on guitar and finally Joseph Williams on vocals. Although still part of the band, David Paich was not taking part in the tour as he is on a touring hiatus to enable him to focus on his health (Taplin has replaced Paich until he can return). Like a good percentage of those that attended I really wanted to hear those "hits" and following the instrumental number it was time for the second of their three "big numbers" via 'Rosanna'. It got quite a reaction from the audience and I can't deny it was an absolute joy to hear this track live. At this point, the stools came out for an acoustic segment and one moment that stood out for me during this stripped back section was 'Human Nature' which is one of my favourite Michael Jackson songs. I don't know whether I simply had never read the credits – or possibly just not twigged to the name of Steve Porcaro as song-writer – but I never associated this song with Toto and it was glorious to hear it during such a prestigious gig.


Toto-1

The night had begun to fully roll in and the light show became even more effective as it lit up the picturesque courtyard. One of the most delightful aspects of the whole thing was to see the Chelsea Pensioners stood/sat at their windows looking down on the stage as the show played out. The gig continued with the likes of 'Stop Loving You', 'Girl Goodbye', 'Lion' and 'Make Believe', but scattered amongst this run of songs were more instrumental explorations such as a piano solo from Taplin that was frankly staggering (despite my comment above about these instrumental/non-vocal moments, this was jaw-droppingly brilliant) and a rendition of 'Dune (Desert Theme)' as well as a version of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. As the two-hour plus show started to head towards its end, it was time for "that song". Given the clock had clicked past ten, the sky was dark and the rain had stopped it was pretty much perfect timing for such an iconic track. The rendition tonight lasted over seven minutes and it allowed the entire crowd a lengthy opportunity to sing, dance and make the most of it. The twenty-one song set was finally brought to its end via an encore performance of 'Home Of The Brave'. As the main lights illuminated the whole courtyard, a rather damp but apparently immensely happy crowd then quickly dispersed and headed home through the various exits.

This wonderful gig will live long in my memory, not just because of the uniqueness of the venue but due to the fine show delivered by both bands. Toto were one of just a few big veteran bands that I hadn't previously seen live; I had tickets for one of their shows some five years ago but missed it due to a mix-up regarding the date. I am so glad I have finally managed to rectify that mistake and even more so to have done it with a rather unusual and special gig. The Darkness were absolute entertainment and Toto were just fabulous in terms of performance ability and showmanship. There are some bands who have been around for the same amount of time or longer who simply can't perform like they used to – that is not something that can be labelled at Toto. Tonight may not have been perfect due to the rain and a sound mix issue for The Darkness, but it was still an absolutely brilliant night; from the venue and facilities to the show itself, I will remember this gig for a long time... the only way it could have been more enjoyable is if the rain had indeed stayed in Africa!

Words: Dave Scott. Photos: Michelle Compton


Toto-2

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  June 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
       1  2
  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 1 day, 9 hours ago
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site