Toto-25th Anniversary: Live in Amsterdam (2003)
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Through The Looking Glass (6)
|Year Of Production||2003|
|Running Time||103:38 (Case: 120)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (67:19)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Aubrey Powell|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Hands up anyone who remembers Toto. Chances are you won't unless you grew up in the eighties like I did, in which case you may remember the phenomenally successful album Toto IV (their fourth album) which won no less than six Grammies: Album Of The Year - TOTO IV, Record Of The Year - Rosanna, Producer Of The Year - TOTO, Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals - Rosanna, Best Vocal Arrangement - Rosanna and Best Engineered Recording - TOTO IV.
I haven't heard about them in the last ten years so I was surprised to find that they are very much alive. Well, almost all of them, anyway. Sadly, Jeff Porcaro (drums) died of an allergy induced heart attack in 1992.
Toto released their first album in 1978, hence 2003 is their 25th anniversary. This concert was captured during the band's Through The Looking Glass Tour of 2002-2003, and was recorded on 17 February 2003 in Amsterdam.
The band surprisingly hasn't changed that much. Steve Porcaro has left, but Bobby Kimball (vocals) has left and returned. Simon Phillips has been the drummer ever since Jeff died, but Steve Lukather (guitars/vocals), Mike Porcaro (bass) and David Paich (keyboards/vocals) are still there. Most of the band members (apart from Mike) look a little stockier than the last I saw them, but they still play very well.
The band opens with a medley of songs from their first album (Girl Goodbye, Child's Anthem, I'll Supply The Love) plus Goodbye Elenore from Turn Back. The next song Gift With A Golden Gun is also from Turn Back.
After this we get two songs from the latest album (Through The Looking Glass): While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Bodhisattva.
Given the popularity of Toto IV, the band played no less than five songs (or about half the album): Africa, Waiting For Your Love, I Won't Hold You Back, Rosanna, and Afraid Of Love.
I was surprised to see Steve Lukather singing quite a few of the songs, but then I should have realised he'd become the lead singer when Bobby left the band. David Paich sings Africa (of course).
Some fans may be miffed to discover quite a few of the solo spots from Simon and Steve have been edited out, and even David Paich's solo has been abridged. According to Simon Philips, who edited the feature, the solos were cut out with the permission of the band members in order to get the program down to 143 mins for the purpose of TV broadcasting. However, there are various solo spots in the encore (White Sister from Hydra).
Fans of the band will enjoy this concert. Band introductions occur at the end of Hold The Line (Track 12). The core band is supplemented by a second guitarist (Tony Spinner) who looks quite cute, as well as a second keyboardist (John Jessel).
Incidentally, for those who wondered what "Toto" stands for, the band has recently announced that it refers to an obscure tribe called Toto, living in the sub-Himalayan foothills, who speak a unique language also called Toto.
|1. Medley-Girl Goodbye,Goodbye Elenore|
2. Gift With A Golden Gun
3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
6. David Paich - Solo
7. Dune / Don't Stop Me Now
|9. I Won't Hold You Back|
11. Afraid Of Love
12. Hold The Line
13. Next To You
14. Home Of The Brave
15. White Sister
The transfer is in widescreen 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. This is presumably the intended aspect ratio.
The back cover claims the video was "captured in hi-definition" - I have no way of confirming this, but the transfer quality seems good enough.
Detail levels were good, and colour saturation about as good as it gets given the dark conditions and stage lighting. Low level video noise was kept to a minimum. I did not notice any interlacing artefacts, so presumably the source material may have been inherently progressive.
There are no subtitle tracks for the main feature, despite the promise of subtitle languages on the back cover. The featurette is subtitled, though.
This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs at the end of Chapter 10 at 67:19. It disrupts the concert for a split second - this is unavoidable but it at least happens between songs.
There are three audio tracks on this disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s).
I'm glad to see the higher bitrates used for both 5.1 tracks, and the results speak for themselves. Both tracks sound excellent, with a strong full-bodied sound. I did not detect any significant differences between the two.
The centre channel appears to act as a filler between the front two channels. The surround channels are mostly used for audience clapping, though occasionally I could hear ambience from the music.
My only complaint is that the mix sounds quite heavily peak limited and dynamically compressed. I suspect this has been done at the console during the performance, but I couldn't help feeling a bit less of a heavy hand on the compression/limiter would have revealed far more subtle details in the performance.
After listening to this, I had to replay my multi-channel Super Audio CD version of Toto IV - and the music on that is so much more natural and full of subtle details.
The subwoofer is put to good use supporting the low frequencies in the music.
|Surround Channel Use|
The only extra is an extended featurette featuring scenes from the band's recent world tour.
The menus are 16x9 enhanced, and include animations and background audio. There is also an animated menu introduction and animated menu transitions.
This is a montage of backstage, on the road, and on stage footage of the band's Through The Looking Glass tour, presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s). The featurette is subtitled in French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese).
It is divided into the following "chapters":
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 and 4 versions of this disc appear identical apart from NTSC vs PAL formatting.
TOTO - Live in Amsterdam is a concert recorded on 17 February 2003 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the band's first album.
The video transfer is excellent.
The audio transfer is also excellent, although the audio mix is somewhat dynamically compressed.
Extras include a 37 minute featurette of the band on tour.
|DVD||Custom HTPC (Asus A7N266-VM, Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB, LiteOn LTD-165S, WinXP, WinDVD5 Platinum), using RGB output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum/AVIA. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)|
|Speakers||Front and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500|