Toto live in Singen

Last night, Toto played at the Hohentwiel Festival in Singen. Now the Hohentwiel is an elevation about 250 m above the city. So when I arrived at the station (after cycling to the station in Konstanz and then taking the train to Singen) I was 250 horizontal meters away from the festival site. And 250 vertical meters. There was a bus service that took you halfway up the hill. I opted to walk the whole way, partly because the scenery was very beautiful, partly because I wanted to figure out the way back at night. Also, the bus shuttle queue wasn’t short. Arriving at the top I was in need of quite some water. I was also intrigued by the unconventional setting: the yard of the castle ruin seemed terribly small and rather askew in some places. (The opening band wasn’t particularly interesting to my ears.)

Toto started out with “Child’s Anthem”. The audience was immediately hooked. The sound was clear and thankfully not too loud. I still find the refrain of “Till the End” to be an anticlimax. But apart from that, the music, the atmosphere, the band and the audience were great! Steve Porcaro seemed to get a real kick out of performing live. He had his shirt wet with sweat after four songs already. David Paich throned on the opposite side of the stage and sported a hat and a gown along with short trousers. It was good to see him back in the limelight. His playing was fantastic and his voice, while not being very versatile, had the special vibe that worked so well in songs like “Lovers in the Night” and later on “Home of the Brave”. I hadn’t hope to see Joseph Williams back with Toto but there he was! Given the occasion the band included the two albums with Williams. “Pamela” and “Stop Loving You” were perfect pop songs. I dare to say you cannot play that type of music any better. Period. There were also less famous tracks like “Stay Away” and “Lea”, which were just great. I was very glad to have songs like these in the set instead of medleys or a simple collection of tracks that had been released as singles. My personal favourite was “I Will Remember”, the only song played that was released after 1988. I still regard it as one of the best songs ever written and the rendition in Singen was just sublime.

By the time the band played “Africa” the hot sun had given way to a thunderstorm. Rain started pouring and I don’t think many people blessed the rains up in Singen at that time. A few rows in front of the stage (where I stood) where able to find shelter under the roof of the stage. Unfortunately, the water caught by said roof came down unto the audience behind the first rows. So from then on there was a divide caused by this waterfalls. I was surprised that the change of weather didn’t diminish the applause and the enthusiasm of the audience.

“Hold the Line” was inevitable. Some of the previous songs had been extended with jams and sing-along parts, so was quite happy the band kept the song in its original short form. Of course, I would have loved to hear “Mushanga”, “Straight for the Heart”, “Bottom of Your Soul” and many other songs. But the actual set list was satisfying and who knows if Toto will ever come on tour again?

Rain in Singen

  1. Child’s Anthem
  2. Till the End
  3. Afraid of Love
  4. Lovers in the Night
  5. Pamela
  6. Lea
  7. 99
  8. Stay Away
  9. I Will Remember
  10. Africa
  11. Somewhere Tonight
  12. Georgy Porgy
  13. Stop Loving You
  14. Rosanna
  15. Home of the Brave
  16. Hold the Line