Preview: Toto at Zitadelle

Toto bring 40 years of soft-rock expertise to Zitadelle… and ‘Africa’

It’s a very modern phenomenon that a band can go through a process of what might be called ‘meme-ification’. That a certain song by a band can become so far reaching, a viral hit far beyond the rest of that groups oeuvre. In what feels like a lifetime ago, it was Rick Astley and the now-antiquated ‘Rick-roll’. A more recent example could be Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’.  How and why ‘Africa’ by Toto became such an Internet behemoth is a study that requires a larger scope than the current piece.

However, it is testament to Toto’s staying power and effort, not to mention their wider back catalogue, that this latest tour is for their 40th anniversary compilation. And the success of ‘Africa’ shouldn’t obscure their other hits: ’Hold the Line’ and ‘Rosanna’ just two of the songs that have made them such an enduring force. The soft-rock heavyweights have been through extensive lineup changes but still kept the wagon rolling. Only original guitarist and vocalist Steve Lukather remains from 1977. They sustained their success over a great many years before this whole meme lark took off.

That Toto can enjoy this latter day resurgence due in part at least to the bizarre lottery of Internet culture’s pinwheel is heartwarming. How many others bands can claim to have an art installation that will play one of their songs literally forever? What song could have encapsulated South Park’s retrogressive Member Berries’ better? And how great is it that the band find the attention they receive for the song so funny? That the band have enough of a back catalogue to back it up also promises for a spectacular evening. Zitadelle promises to be the scene for an evening of nostalgia, of fun and of singalongs. And ‘Africa’.

Toto play Zitadelle on the 30th June. Tickets are available here.

A Scottish troubadour, scientist, writer. Jack of few trades.

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