Toto co-founder Steve Lukather is headed to Australia for a series of 10 shows with G3, the explosive three-part guitar-focused rock show featuring Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. The dates start on March 24 and continue through April 6.
“Joe and Steve are very, very old dear friends of mine and when they asked me to do this show, I said: ‘Are you sure? Me?’” Lukather toldin Australia. “There’s 100 guys I can think of who would be more suited for it, but maybe they think I will bring something different to the party — which I will.”
Lukather has sold more than 32 million records as a part of Toto, and won five Grammys all while performing as a sideman on more than 1,000 projects — ranging from Michael Jackson’s legendary Thriller to Oliver Newton John’s hit “Physical” to a series of smash records with Boz Scaggs.
That doesn’t mean he misunderstands the guitar prowess of his stage partners: “It’s not a competition to me — because I would lose,” Lukather says, chuckling. “We all have a different flavor and a lot of love and mutual respect for each other as human beings. They’re insane. I’m a big fan myself!”
As part of the G3 concerts, each artist is showcased for a 45-minute set then join each other on stage for a jam session to conclude the show.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Steve Lukather and Toto. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: STEVE LUKATHER OF TOTO: We asked Lukather to dig into his role in a staggering number of hit projects — from Boz Scaggs and Olivia Newton-John to Larry Carlton and Michael Jackson. But you don’t talk to the legendary guitarist without talking about Toto. So, we also found out more during the latest SER Sitdown on the complicated history of the band’s lead singers, and what the future holds for Toto after the departure of two Porcaro brothers. Oh, and why Lukather still keeps a copy of Meet the Beatles in heavy rotation, even today.
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: TOTO: Critics hung soft rock around their necks after the success of tunes like “I Won’t Hold You Back,” “99″ and “I’ll Be Over You.” But Toto was never so easily identifiable. A closer listen uncovers a musical pallette that brings in heavier guitar sounds, funk, soul, R&B, jazz, even prog rock. Top 5 hits like “Hold the Line,” “Rosanna,” and “Africa,” each as listenable as they can be, scarcely hint at that kind of complexity. Can this legacy be saved? That’s where we come in.
STEVE LUKATHER – ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (2010): With the end of Toto as a recording entity, Luke’s records are the closest thing to a continuation of that group’s discography. All’s Well That Ends Well seems to accept that mantle. Yes, it rocks a little bit harder in spots (“Can’t Look Back,” “Flash In The Pan”), but the slick mix of rock, prog, R&B and fusion shoots for the same over-40 demographic, ignoring any developments in popular music since Toto’s 1980s heyday and instead refining and updating the old formula. His voice is still in fine form and in case you wondering, so are his guitar chops. It’s real easy to make a call on this record: If you liked Toto, you’ll like All’s Well That Ends Well.
ONE TRACK MIND: STEVE LUKATHER ON “I WON’T HOLD YOU BACK,” “99,” “I’ll BE OVER YOU,” AND OTHERS: Lukather provides insight into “I Won’t Hold You Back” and “I’ll Be Over You,” both signature ballads for Toto, and refutes the idea that he hates another of them — “99.” He also talks about how, despite the fact that his band never got the critical praise it deserved, the legendary Miles Davis tried to lure the guitarist away from Toto.