Toto at Dom Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea

Seoul Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
The infamous Toto Tub!

OMG...can't believe the day was finally here.  I was in South Korea, getting ready to head to the show.  We had done a city tour and ended up much longer than planned and only had 1/2 hour to get ready for the show before we needed to catch a cab.  And since our tickets were at will call, we needed to get there even earlier as I didn't want to brave long lines and miss one single second of the concert!  We rushed back and I took the fastest shower in history (in the awesome Toto branded bathroom) and we were set to go!

We found this venue at Grand Children's Park was not necessarily well known which added to my stress level a bit and coupled with our cab driver who didn't speak English, I was nervous.  We drove around quite a bit and seemed like we were just looping in circles but I learned that is pretty much how all of Seoul is.

Toto Banner at Grand Children's Park
  Scott kept trying to ask the driver questions and I kept telling him to be quiet for fear he'd get confused and take us somewhere else! LOL. 

Finally we arrive.....and there is the biggest line of cars to turn in the lot I've ever seen! I am thinking we are screwed on getting in timely but turns out, this Dom Art Hall is located inside a whole huge park facility.  This place was jam packed. There were various stages and events going on which had nothing to do with the Toto show.  I began to wonder if we were actually in the right place and then I saw it!  A banner advertising the show!  Now, this was nothing compared to the banners I saw from the pictures in the Phillippines only days before but I was happy to see something!  Had to have pictures in front of the Toto banner - proves I flew half way around the world to see this show!!

We go scurrying to find the hall and quickly figured out it wasn't hard to miss.

The beginning of the line to get in the show
  There was a line of what looked like 500 people already - they had not opened the hall yet.  We found the will call section and they look for our tickets and tell us there are no tickets with our names!?!? WTH?!?!  The other lady looks and she has them under a different pile - she remembered seeing one of the only American sounding names - thank heaven for that! 

We go join the line which has now doubled....and I get why she remembered our names.....we stood out like sore thumbs! The entire line appeared to be locals, many younger than me.  At least it would be easy to spot Josh and Sudip if they were in line though!  We had brought two cameras and I was prepared to hide one in my top if I had to because no way was I missing out on photo opportunities at this show!  The last time I saw them in 2007 at Saratoga Winery in San Jose, CA - they were checking for cameras at the entrance and sending you back to your cars if you had one.

The crew setting up before the show
  Well, since we cabbed it and I flew around the world - good luck getting me to leave it behind! Anyways, I spotted the no video, no camera, and no recording sign but they weren't checking bags or pockets so we were in!

The venue ended up being pretty small - about 2000 seats.  We were about 17 rows back on the right side.  We wandered down to the front and took a couple pics of the crew setting up.  Scott talked to one of them and he said the guys would be hanging around after the show.  We still had about 20 minutes to spare so I made a last minute bathroom run and by the time I got out - there was I face to face with Josh! LOL.  How easy was that?!?!  We snapped a couple photos, chatted for a minute when Sudip says it sounds like the show is starting.

Meeting Josh and Sudip before the show
  *Poof* I am gone, back to my seat! 

Well, it wasn't starting just yet but they were tuning instruments and people were already going nuts.  It's funny because Toto has such increased popularity around the world now, more so than their rise to fame in the 70's and 80's in America.  Well, the guys come out and instantly, every person in that place is on their feet!  The energy in that place was unbelievable.  It was by far, the best show I've ever seen!  Every person around me knew every song, every verse, and they sang the entire time. 

It was definitely bittersweet as Steve Lukather talked about this being their last show and the tour coming to an end.....there is no definitive on whether they will tour again but the die hard fans are keeping their fingers crossed.

Bobby and Steve
  Steve talked a lot about the tour and his dedication to the group, his fans, and the awesome job their crew did for the last two years.  They had pulled this Elvis statue up on stage and did some funny antics centered around that.  It was just such a casual and fun environment - Steve really engaged the audience and it really made me feel so lucky to be a part of their last show.   

Lee Sklar who filled in on the tour while Mike Porcaro is recovering from a hand injury, has detailed their journeys of the tour on the totonetwork website.  Lee has done entertaining MashCasts of the crew, the band, and places they traveled.  It was a way for the fans to feel like they were there and stay in touch with the happenings of the band.

View from our seats
  I am glad he did that because we were having a horrible time getting photos.  Between the fact I couldn't see that far over the people in front of me and the usher who went up and down the entire show making people put cameras and phones away, I couldn't get a good shot!  Thank heaven Scott is almost 6'5" and was able to sneak a few shots for me.  Most of mine are focused on the guys' head in front of me! LOL. 

I decided no way was I leaving the show without at least trying to get down to the front row once it was done in hopes of sweet talking one of the crew to let me say hi since I don't know if I will have the opportunity again.  Well, during the first finale, we waited for the usher to pass and we ran down to the side of the stage.

The finale with the crew on stage
  There were security people right in front of the stage who I don't think quite expected all the rush of people. 

Steve had invited the crew out on stage and they sang with them which was hysterical!  They sang the Beatles, With a Little Help from My Friends. It was awesome and while we were hanging out and trying to snap a few photos, we were close to the stage where Lee Sklar was and he looks at me while they are singing and mouths "Happy Birthday" to me!!! OMG! He recognized me and doing that touched me so much!  I mentioned previously about the Totonetwork site - this is a fan based type site but the band members are actually on it - they write blogs, and that is where Lee posts his famous MashCasts.

Lee
  Obviously I belong to the site and had posted that I was coming out there for my birthday and promised to give a report on the show.  Well, Lee recognized me from that and it just made my entire night for him to wish me Happy Birthday. 

As the show ended, we didn't move from our spot just in case they might've come back out....well next thing you know, a guy who doesn't speak English very well is pointing at me just saying, "American" and "Birthday" - I shook my head yes and he motioned for me to follow him.  Lee had arranged for us to come backstage and say hi!!!  I was in absolute heaven!  I've only met them in person once which was in 2005 at the Las Vegas show - that's an easy place to talk to them because they come out into the casino afterwards.

The Finale
  Anyways, we stood on stage for a bit while they dealt with trying to get the lights back on so the crew could take down and then Lee told me he wanted to do a MashCast of me!!! OMG!!!!  I was going to be on the Totonetwork.  To me, that was an incredible honor and although I can't pull it from the site to post, I have the link:   http://www.totonetwork.com/node/5688481.  It is one of Lee's blogs and he included a special birthday wish from the band to me. 

After I had my 5 seconds of fame, Josh and Sudip appeared in front of the stage and waited for us.  Lee suggested we wait there for the guys to come out as he couldn't really find anywhere to hang out backstage as it was small and I'd have to pass the dressing rooms where they were changing.

With Greg Phillinganes
  Next, Greg Phillinganes, their keyboard player.  Greg is another one with a notable history - he was "discovered" by Stevie Wonder.  Greg is amazing and I am absolutely entranced watching him perform.  He and I had talked a bit when we met in 2005 and found we shared the LA bond/connection so I was looking forward to saying hi again.  Now, I want to note that Scott and others have made fun of me, saying no way would Greg remember me....well......he came out and first thing he said is, "Erin from Vegas, I remember you!".  HA HA HA HA.  It was great to see him and get new photos together.  He is such a down to earth and great guy.  Heck, they all are - that is one of the reasons I truly love these guys - they are sincere when they say their fans are everything to them.
Scott, Lee, me, and Bobby Kimball
  People on the totonetwork know them, their families, their lives...not just the stage personas.  

Anyways, Greg had to run and finish getting ready to head back to the hotel - they didn't get a chance to see anything in Korea and I told Greg I'd send him the link to my Korea blog so he could live vicariously through my sightseeing! HAHA.  They all had a super early morning flight back to LA so no partying for them that night.  Before we left, Bobby Kimball came out to say hi and thanked me for flying all the way around the world to see them perform and wished me a Happy Birthday.  He and I are only about a week apart as I knew he just celebrated his Bday in Japan!  We got to take a couple photos with Lee and Bobby - including Josh and Sudip which was really cool.

Josh, Lee, and Sudip
 

I can't thank the guys enough - I truly had the best birthday and time getting to see them perform in Korea.  I can only hope they decide to do a couple more shows together at some point as they will truly be missed.  I wish them the best in their solo pursuits and the long deserved break to catch up with their normal lives and families they have missed the last two years.  I have a strong feeling though...this won't be the last entry in my Toto blog!! :-)

travelman727 says:
And you weren't sure you wanted to go to South Korea? Just think of all the fun you'd have missed :-D I've been a big fan of Leeland Sklar for years and years!
Posted on: Apr 17, 2008
TRE69 says:
OMG Erin...such a great blog! Wow...you got personal attention...that's sweet!:P
Posted on: Apr 17, 2008
JillianJ says:
Loved reading that! Glad you had an awesome time!
Posted on: Apr 17, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The infamous Toto Tub!
The infamous Toto Tub!
Toto Banner at Grand Childrens Pa…
Toto Banner at Grand Children's P…
The beginning of the line to get i…
The beginning of the line to get …
The crew setting up before the show
The crew setting up before the show
Meeting Josh and Sudip before the …
Meeting Josh and Sudip before the…
Bobby and Steve
Bobby and Steve
View from our seats
View from our seats
The finale with the crew on stage
The finale with the crew on stage
Lee
Lee
The Finale
The Finale
With Greg Phillinganes
With Greg Phillinganes
Scott, Lee, me, and Bobby Kimball
Scott, Lee, me, and Bobby Kimball
Josh, Lee, and Sudip
Josh, Lee, and Sudip
Fountain at Grand Childrens Park
Fountain at Grand Children's Park
Toto...Live in Korea!!!!!!!!!!
Toto...Live in Korea!!!!!!!!!!
Toto banner outside Dom Art Hall
Toto banner outside Dom Art Hall
Crew setting up
Crew setting up
Crew setting up
Crew setting up
Crew setting up
Crew setting up
Crew setting up
Crew setting up
Before the show
Before the show
Setting up before the show
Setting up before the show
Setting up
Setting up
Sudip, Josh, me, and Scott
Sudip, Josh, me, and Scott
Lee and Elvis off to the left! LOL
Lee and Elvis off to the left! LOL
Views from our seats during the sh…
Views from our seats during the s…
Lukather!
Lukather!
Lee Sklar
Lee Sklar
The finale with the crew on stage
The finale with the crew on stage
Steve rocking out!
Steve rocking out!
Lee again
Lee again
Lee during the finale
Lee during the finale
Bobby and the crew
Bobby and the crew
Bobby and the crew during the fina…
Bobby and the crew during the fin…
Steve Lukather
Steve Lukather
Luke again
Luke again
Gods gift to the keyboards!
God's gift to the keyboards!
Love this shot of Steve and Greg
Love this shot of Steve and Greg
With Greg...no flash
With Greg...no flash
Another pic with Greg!!
Another pic with Greg!!
Josh, Lee, and Sudip
Josh, Lee, and Sudip
In front of the Toto banner
In front of the Toto banner
Me with Lee and Bobby Kimball
Me with Lee and Bobby Kimball
Seoul
photo by: chiyeh