Chicago Theatre Review
Toto and Michael McDonald – A Night to Remember
Like a fine wine and cheese it was the perfect pairing of great artists, Toto and Michael McDonald. Throw in a beautiful night under the stars at Ravinia and you have one of the most memorable evenings of entertainment.
Its funny how our taste in music can change so much through the years. Growing up Toto was one of the more popular groups. And while I enjoyed their music I did not fully appreciate it as much as I did at Friday’s performance at Ravinia, from a music standpoint and just watching the amazing talent on one stage. I am also in awe of groups that have been together 35 + years later and continue to perform and sound even better. This was definitely the case when Toto took the stage.
While there have been many changes through the years Steve Lukather (guitarist for Toto) managed to get original band members David Paich, Steve Porcaro, drummer Simon Phillips, bassist Nathan East and former lead vocalist Joseph Williams. Williams vocals were nothing short of amazing and Lukathers use of the guitar clearly makes him one of the greatest players of all time. The band as a whole gave an hour and a half performance that was filled with passion and an energy level that remained high the entire time, leaving the audience wanting more.
Michael McDonald casually walked out on stage during “I’ll Be Over You” to do vocals with the band which got the whole place on their feet almost to say “thank you for this incredible treat.” One of the highlights for me was Lukather and his magic guitar doing an acoustic of 99 and Amazing Grace.
After a short intermission Michael McDonald took the stage with his soulful R&B voice, as good as it ever sounded, performing some of his classic Doobie Brothers songs such as “What a Fool Believes, and “I keep Forgetting.”
In what can only be described as one of the greatest highlights of the evening was an amazing encore. Toto came back to the stage to team up with Michael McDonald on Stevie Wonders Superstition, Change the World and Takin it to the Streets featuring Toto’s singers. A perfect way to end a flawless concert. As the night ended and they all took their final bows it was obvious everyone in that room, musicians and audience members had all been part of a magical memorable night of music, that I only wished could have gone on longer.
Reviewed by Gayle Kirshenbaum
For more information go to www.ravinia.org