Toto at Dom Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea
Seoul Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!! :-)