‘We made a nice team’: Steve Lukather will rejoin Joe Satriani for G3 show in October

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Photo by Ash Newell

Toto co-founder Steve Lukather will hit the stage with Joe Satriani for an October 23, 2012 concert in Mexico City, his second stint as part of the ongoing G3 shows. The date will also include Dream Theater’s John Petrucci.

G3, the explosive three-part guitar-focused rock concert led by Satriani since 1996, has over the years featured Robert Fripp, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Morse, Neal Schon, Brian May, Billy Gibbons and others. Lukather, who is touring right now as part of Ringo Starr’s newest All-Starr band, most recently played 10 G3 shows with Satriani and Steve Vai in Australia, between March 24 and April 6.

“There’s no question those guys can play rings around me, but we made a nice team,” Lukather told us. “I was like the odd, wild-card man out. I was just glad to do it, to kind of scratch it off my bucket list. I got to do G3, and at the level of guitar that those guys play at, it was a great honor.”

As part of the G3 concerts, each artist is showcased for a 45-minute set — then joins the others on stage for a jam session to conclude the show.

The busy Lukather is also set to tour again with Toto this fall, with a new solo album to follow in early 2013. He has sold more than 32 million records as a part of Toto, and won five Grammys, while also 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.

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.

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The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
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