Monday, July 02, 2007

Music, Music, Music

One of the nice things about going on tour is the variety of bands and music that you hear, both on stage and from your fellow traveler's iPods. My British co-workers have hipped me to Muse, a mighty trio of U.K. musos, and I in turn introduced them to Porcupine Tree and The Damnwells.

We have been sharing the bill with some interesting and diverse bands such as D.A.D., Edguy, Rosehill Drive and others. The bigger festivals, where there are multiple stages, are great places to hear some amazing musicians. Joe Satriani was on a couple of our dates, and Steve Vai was at the last gig, in Holland.

Our stage in Holland hosted INXS, Riders on the Storm, The Scorpions, and Toto. Aiden Mullen, my former co-worker with Hall and Oates has been out with INXS this year, and it was great to see him.

Toto had L.A. session greats Greg Phillinganes on keys, Simon Phillips on drums and the legendary Leland Sklar on bass. They played a superb set, with guitar genius Steve Lukather working his magic and vocalist Bobby Kimball singing like he was 25 years younger than he is. I remember hearing the first Toto record on 8-track, riding around Mauston, Wisconsin in Ted Arens' blue Chevy. Kimball sounded exactly the same.

Riders on the Storm is Ray Manzarek and Robbie Krieger's latest incarnation of The Doors. Bass master Phil Chen (Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart) played with them.

Bobby Schneck (Brad's guitar tech) and Phil Chen

Bob Bradshaw is teching for Luke, and I grabbed a couple of shots of Luke's rig.

Signature Ernie Ball guitars

The Rack of Doom

Some of the guys in our band came out to watch Toto's set, and afterwards Lukather, Sklar and Vai (among many more of the day's musicians) watched the Aerosmith set, right through the encore. Mutual admiration all around, and a great vibe to be a part of.

Steve Vai, Steve Lukather and Leland Sklar watching the show

The band rose to the occasion (how would you like your band to follow Toto?) by doing what they do best - playing great Rock and Roll music. At this level, it's gratifying to see that Brad Whitford can get off on what Lukather is doing, and Lukather in turn was jumping around like a kid during Aerosmith's set. It seems like there is no competitive spirit between legendary bands like that, just appreciation for the different styles. I doubt that either guitarist would be comfortable in the other's band, and that's what makes them both so special. Nobody plays a shuffle like Sklar/Phillips, and nobody plays it like Hamilton/Kramer. Hearing it all live is a rare treat, and everyone is still blown away by ST's front-man skills. And as someone commented, there may not be anyone better at it than he is, Jagger included.


Anonymous db for mayor said...

WOW! Good for you that you got to witness...and testify.

2/7/07 18:51  
Blogger Jack said...

You should have told Luke that you're personal friends with bovine.

He would have laughed and laughed!


5/7/07 08:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom...did you happen to mention that you are a friend of Jack W? Lukather probably would have kissed you for that.


13/7/07 00:15  
Blogger Jack said...

No kissing - but perhaps some invasive touching of the naughty bits.


18/7/07 09:21  

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