'No Jazz Tour'
Wednesday, 20th August 2008
The Music Mill, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Article By David Cisco
As if to prove that the worldwide web isn't all that, I discovered that Steve Lukather would be playing this gig in Indianapolis almost by accident. After using the Google to check the news that, after thirty years, Toto had officially disbanded, I looked for more Luke news and, Lo and Behold! There it was, a gig that I could actually get too! With only one day's notice and without hesitation, I drove the 130 miles to catch Luke's No Jazz Tour at the Music Mill and it was worth it.
The Music Mill is a small club, maximum capacity of perhaps 350 people, so I was pleased to see that we fans were going to get an "up close and personal" performance from Luke and his crew. Apparently, like me, almost nobody knew about the show, so maybe 200 faithful showed up to catch it. In spite of the small turnout, Luke came out and ripped through a fiery two-hour set that made good on the No Jazz threat by sticking to heavy rockers and churning instrumental workouts.
Looking rough after a week off battling strep throat, a coarsely good-humored Luke stepped up to the mike and kicked the show straight into high gear with "Drive a Crooked Road/Twist the Knife" from 1989's Lukather, and kept the pedal on the proverbial metal all the way to the final encore. Drawing on his lengthy repertoire, Luke and the boys treated the small crowd to a rocking lesson on the leader's storied history. The show focused material from Luke's four solo albums and Toto's Nineties-era albums (except 1999's Mindfields), but went deep with "Live For Today" (from Toto's Turn Back) and "Talk to Ya Later" ("a song I wrote in 1980 for a group called The Tubes"). The new album EVer Changing Times was well-represented with kick-ass versions of "How Many Zeros," "Tell Me What You Want," "Jammin' With Jesus," the ominous title track, and the grooving Steely Dan homage "Stab In the Back." Candyman also scored big with four songs on the set list, including the emotional tribute "Song for Jeff" (dedicated to LUke's former friend and bandmate Jeff Porcaro, who passed in 1992), and the electrifying jam "Party In Simon's Pants." "Wings of Time" (Kingdom of Desire) was a surprise entry, as were the encore choices: a smoking take on Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" - yeah, it was crazy, alright - and "The Road Goes On" (Tambu, which Luke performed solo, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
As a showman, Luke was first-rate, and kept the audience engaged with funny, pissed-off tirades "about lawyers" and "other dark shit." During his introduction for "Song for Jeff," a couple of fun-loving fans managed to get Luke off the track and what started as a dedication collapsed into a hilariously obscene rant about the goings-on "in my office" that had the crowd roaring in laughter. Luke was gracious and appreciative, as well, and offered his heartfelt thanks for our coming out to the show. Ironic and touching, we the faithful few got so much more from Luke than we were capable of giving him. Luke deserved better, but we were the real winners on the night. A great gig, marred only by a severe case of fan absenteeism.
Steve Lukather Official Website
Steve Lukather MySpace
The Music Mill