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June 29th & 30th 2004  -  Podium - Hardenberg - The Netherlands
On tuesday (June 29th) the sound was very disappointing, but that had some reasons. TOTO had a delay in London, after their gig on monday in the famous Royal Albert Hall, and at Schiphol Airport Greg's luggage was gone. Due to that they arrived to late in Hardenberg and so the gig started 40 minutes later than was announced. For the same reason TOTO didn't make a soundcheck and that was obvious to hear in the sound quality. It was the worst sound I ever heard from them.

About wednesday (June 30th): TOTO was blowing the roof off!!! It was one of the best performances I heard of them. The setlist was great with the great opener Only The Children, followed by Pamela and I Will Remember. To be honest I had expected more from the medley, Angel Don't Cry was great but Carmen, Dave's Gone Skiing, These Chains and Mushanga were a bit short. My personal highlights were Gypsy Train, it really rocked, and Purple Rain with Greg on vocals. Greg was doing a great job, he is a very good stand in for David. I'll hope to see TOTO once playing with David and Greg together, like They did in the old days with Steve Porcaro.

When TOTO arrived I gave Luke my orange shawl to support our national soccer team for the semi-final against Portugal. By the first encore he had it hanging on his neck, but unfortunately it didn't help Holland to reach the final.

After the gig there was the Meet & Greet with the band, organised by TOTO Headlines (thank you, MariŽlle, Henny & Willemijn). The guys were so relaxed and took their time for all of us. I talked with all of them, got with them on a photo and Luke, Mike & Bobby signed the booklets of all my TOTO cd's. I also had the honor to give Luke the first cd of Generation X, that is a young new and talented band in my homeplace Zwartsluis.
The TOTO gigs are allways reunions with the other diehard fans, like Saara (from Finland), Maria, Frank, Stephan, Marc, Ramses, Miranda, Monique, Geen, Wendy, Elly, Richelle, Bart, Karel, Jochem, Henk, Rene, Jean-Michel, Arend & Gea (, MariŽlle & Henny & Willemijn (TOTO Headlines). Sharing the same passion and meeting you all again gives an extra value to a TOTO gig to me.
Benno Schraa - July 1st 2004.

Night Of The Proms  -  November 29th 2003  -  Ahoy - Rotterdam  - The Netherlands
The Night of the Proms were great!!! I was standing in the first rows in the middle of the podium right behind Frank, Marc (Kerdy) and his girlfriend Priscilla. Nice to see always some familiar faces.

About the Proms: it's a great combination classic meets rock. The orchestra Il Novecento and the choir Fine Fleur played some classical music and accompanied the popular artists. Musically every artist did a great job, but .... TOTO has certainly the best of all. I was there with a friend of mine, and before the Proms he didn't have a favourite artist but after the show he told me that TOTO was absolutely the best of all. Now he understands why I am always so enthousiastic about TOTO their gigs, and when they come back to The Netherlands he and his wife will join me!!

I liked Ilse DeLange very much, especially her sweet laughing face. She has a very good voice, but it was a little empty to see her alone on the podium without a band. Her Almelose dialect is very funny, and shows that she never denies her origin. It's like we in our country say: doe maar normaal dan doe je al gek genoeg
She sung the followings songs: Heavenless, Livin' On Love and World Of Hurt.
I loved to hear John Miles performing his evergreen Music. Together with Xuefei Yang he also played the beautiful La Sagrada Familia.

Musically is Xuefei Yang a great musician, but her classical music it's not the kind of music that I prefer.
INXS is musically a very good band, but to me they don't seem to be an unity on the podium!! Maybe that it comes because John Stevens will leave the band after the Proms. John is a singer with a great personality. INXS played teh following songs: New Sensation, Need You Tonight, Mystify, Suicide Blonde and Never Tear Us Apart.

Musically is Xuefei Yang a great musician, but it's not the kind of music that I prefer.

Two of the three girls of En Vogue were very ill, so they didn't sing last night on the Proms. For them Ilse DeLange sung an extra song together with John Miles: Have a little faith in me from John Hyatt. TOTO played a part of: What a man as compensation of En Vogue not beÔng here.

TOTO - these are born musicians and they show that!!! It's what I always say about them TOTO rocks. After an intro by Il Novecento with a part of Home Of The Brave, TOTO came on the stage and give the best performance of the night. They played the following songs: Child's Anthem, Rosanna, Africa, I Won't Hold You Back, Stop Loving You and Hold The Line. As we know from the summer tour Greg Phillingaines is a great stand in for David. He also played a song together with Ilse DeLange. Ricky Lawson is a good drummer but he misses the touch of Simon, but he did also a great job. Mike is as usual the most quiet of all of them, but without his groove no TOTO. Bobby and Luke enjoyed themselfs very good and they were fooling around (with Ilse DeLange). The only sad thing was that they played to short.
At the end of the show TOTO played together with John Miles, Xuefei Yang, Ilse de Lange, INXS and ofcourse the orchestra Il Novecento and the choir Fine Fleur Hey Jude from The Beatles.

At least a short summary of the Night of the Proms: it was a great night, but TOTO showed that they are the best musicians with the best performance.

Benno Schraa - November 30th 2003.

July 27th 2003  -  013 - Tilburg - The Netherlands
When I arrived at 13.00 hours in Tilburg, Frank was as usual allready there. Not much later we met also Marc (on the messageboard known as Kerdy) and Saara, who came all the way from Finland to see TOTO live. Later we met also some other messageboard members as Stephan and Elly, and the 2 sisters Monique and Miranda.
The guys from TOTO came walking with their suitcases to the 013 venue. They left their hotel, because of the noice of the fun fair in Tilburg. When they left after the soundcheck 013 with a taxi to their new hotel, some of us had the chance to meet the them. We spoke with them personally and got their autographs on our t-shirts. Another fan made with his mobile phone a photo when Bobby was signing my t-shirt. He sended me this photo by email.
About the gig, oh what a night!!! It was in my opion the best show I've ever seen from them. The 013 is very small venue and we were standing so close to the podium. We got very much value for our money!!! The setlist was the same as in the first 2 legs of this worldtour, only Could You Be Loved was deleted,
After the first disappointment that David wasn't there, because of family circumstances, we all must agree that Greg Phillingaines is more than a good stand-inn for David. He did an excellent job.
Bobby was in a good shape and his voice was excellent. Mike did as usual a great job and he gave us again an excellent solo at the end of Africa.
What can I say about Luke ... haha ... let's start with the serious stuff about him. He was the man ... and he is a master guitarplayer. He can get every sound out of his guitar he wants to, from hard and rough parts till the more harmonious parts. In his solo he played also a part of Gift Of Faith. We could obvious see that he also enjoyed himself very much. He was joking all the time, on his own nauty way. He looked into the crowd and said with a serious face: We have young fans, we have old fans and we have them with big tits.
Greg was also fooling around in his yellow sports tenue of the LA Lakers. He showed us how to run around his chair while he was playing his keyboards. In his solo he played Paul Meets Chani (Dune), Don't Stop Me Now, with Luke on the guitar,  and also a part of Pinball Wizard from Elton John. When Luke played during Rosanna a solo on his keyboard, he took Luke's guitar and gave away an excellent show on it. We could see that the other members didn't expect this, they were shaking from laughing. He also made some improvisations during the songs, and then TOTO showed again what a great musicians they are. Simon and Mike changed their rhythm and so it became a bit jazzy.
Due to the small podium JJ (John Jessel) was this time not standing behind the stage, but in sight for the audience. Tony Spinner played the second guitar excellent and did the vocals on Stop Loving You.
I can't wait till November 29th, when I'll see them back together with a big orchestra on the Night Of The Proms, and for tonight ... I'm gonna bite my nails off because I'm not there, when they give their second show in Tilburg.
From this place I also want to thank my friends Paul van der Kooij en Marieke Donkers, who life in Breda, for offering me a place to sleep.  
Benno Schraa - July 28th 2003.

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