Not sports-related but must-be-reported-news… Heading out of the Waterfront ballroom last Wednesday night, I heard various comments: “highway robbery,” “yabag,” “they forgot their lines!” “fake,” and “rip-off.”
Toto was bad. Really bad. As a start, the tickets weren’t inexpensive—the highest-priced at P3,500. In my case, with wife Jasmin and best friend Dr. Ron Eullaran and his wife Raycia, we bought the P2,000.
Our expectations were high—and justifiably so. Toto is one of the world’s most popular bands. During my teenage days in the ‘80s, I grew up listening to the American band. Toto was revered.
What happened? Put simply, they did not sing their most popular hits. Yes, songs like “Rosanna” and “Georgy Porgy” were sung but several major hits—like “Lea,” “I Won’t Hold You Back” and “I’ll Be Over You”—which the thousands in attendance kept on pleading and awaiting and asking to be sung—were never sung.
All Toto sang were 15-second snippets of those songs. Fifteen seconds. Nothing more. And, no, the band wasn’t in a hurry to leave the stage—they performed for nearly two hours and sang, what, 25 songs? But 80 percent of the music was noisy, ear-splitting, deafening, heavy-metal.
Inconceivable. Preposterous. Unthinkable. It was like watching Beyonce in concert and her not singing “Irreplaceable” or “Crazy In Love.” Like going to a Christina Aguilera gig without “Genie In A Bottle.” Like Van Halen minus “Jump” or Duran Duran with no “The Reflex.”
Why? Why didn’t they sing their favorites?
I don’t know. Yesterday, when I chanced upon meeting the event’s local producer at the Waterfront lobby and I asked her, she herself was puzzled and dumbfounded. “There were hotel guests who inserted nasty-worded notes to the band members’ rooms,” she told me.
Africa? Their No.1 hit? Good idea that they reserved it for the finale—but bad, bad move… For instead of singing like how it sounds on a CD, they let their keyboardist (who, obviously, did not sing the original) sing the hit tune and it sounded like your neighbor singing the karaoke from his living room.
Boo and boycott Toto. I’d rather watch Junior Kilat.