TOTO Live in Sapporo!

Legendary, Grammy winning band TOTO is coming to Sapporo! Catch them live at Nitori Bunka Hall on Friday, May 2nd. Tickets can be purchased at the following link (in Japanese): Tickets or at the door at the Nitori Bunka Hall.

The original members of Toto first joined forced in Los Angeles in 1976. They were highly regarded session musicians who, individually, had worked with artists like Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan, Seals & Crofts, and Sonny & Cher.

From the time their debut album, Toto was released in 1978, they were an immediate hit with fans, if not with critics, who viewed the band’s incorporation of elements of jazz, psychedelia, hard rock and soul as a negative because, they maintained, it kept the band from having a distinctive sound.

They followed with Hydra in 1979 and Turn Back in 1981, both of which performed progressively less successfully than the debut album. They finally broke through with their 1982 release, Toto IV which included future Toto standards “Africa,” “Rosanna,” “I Won’t Hold You Back” and “Make Believe.” Toto IV won a total of three Grammy Awards, including Record of Year (“Rosanna”) and Album of the Year.

Their next three albums (see Toto discography) became progressively less successful in the U.S. and more successful in Europe, especially France, Netherlands and Sweden. By 1995, Toto albums and singles were failing to chart at all in their home country, even as they became even more successful overseas.

Toto today
In 2008, Lukather declared that Toto’s long run was over, and that he would be concentrating on a solo career. In an Classic Rock interview, Lukather said, “The old band was good to me, and we had a good run at it, you know what I mean? But when it ceases to be the people who actually started the band – I’m the only one left – it’s lost its little magical thing that it used to have when we were in high school. It’s like when you stay too long at the party. I didn’t want to go down in flames, I’d rather go out on a real high. Our bond is stronger than just being a corporation that makes money. I think everybody felt like it was time.”

By 2010, Lukather was still doing solo work, but he had changed his mind about Toto’s future, and that band reunited, initially for a short benefit tour for their ailing ex-bandmate Mike Porcaro, then for full tours in 2011 and 2012. The current lineup includes original members Paitch, Lukather and Steve Porcaro, veteran members Joe Williams and Simon Phillips, and Nathan East subbing for original bassist Mike Porcaro. Recent tours have also featured backup vocals by Jenny Douglas-McRae (who has worked with the band off and on since 1990) and Mabvuto Carpenter.