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Published: 2008/04/30
by Mark Burnell

Toto : Falling In Between Live

Eagle Vision

How bad could this possibly be? That was the question I asked myself as I settled down on the couch and got ready to watch this DVD for the first time. I’d always liked “Hold the Line,” even Toto’s detractors have always acknowledged their superb musicianship, and really, can thirty-thousand adoring Frenchmen be wrong? Thus bathed in the comforting light of logic, I hit play. Twenty agonizing minutes later, I felt like a 14 year old going “over the top” on the front lines of World War I, as nothing could have prepared me for the sheer overwhelming terror that laid in wait. And remind me never ever to trust a Frenchman again.

Yes, they’re all great musicians, but there’s not one iota of soul anywhere on this DVD; renowned keyboardist Greg Phillinganes comes closest at the start of an extended solo turn, giving an impassioned 80 seconds or solo of piano improv before suddenly turning into Keith Emerson on a bad night in 1973. Every other song here is stadium rock of the most perfunctory kind— dull, bland and simply unremarkable. I knew little of Toto beyond the big hits, which are all here in versions competent enough that the adoring crowd can all happily sing along, but I’ve forced myself to watch this DVD three times now, and damned if there isn’t a single other song that managed to lodge even the vaguest remnant of a tune into my memory. And yes, “Hold the Line” is indeed the best song here.

Sound, lighting and camera work are all excellent, and the director, the unfortunately named Blue Leach, does a good job overall, undoubtedly making this release a treat for Toto fans everywhere. For your humble scribe and, I suspect, for most of you, watching this DVD is an experience just slightly more enjoyable than being waterboarded.

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