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Home Today's Stories Live Review: Steve Lukather at the Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT. August 24, 2008
September 30, 2020
Live Review: Steve Lukather at the Ridgefield Playhouse - Ridgefield, CT. August 24, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 August 2008 13:25
By Ken Volpe - GJD
It’s been a long-time coming, but I finally got a chance to see guitar legend Steve Lukather live. I was also fortunate enough to recently do a phone interview with Mr. Lukather (Part 1 aired on GJD last week). During the phone interview I was able to get some insight into his music, his gear, and his personality. So, seeing him live really made it all come together.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is an amazing little venue. It is an old theatre that has been converted into a concert hall. It seats about 500 people and has darn good acoustics.  Many great acts play here on a weekly basis.

Steve’s 5-piece came out with a bang. They started out rockin’ a couple of tunes from Steve’s latest release entitled, “Ever Changing Times”. Steve’s new band consists of Ricky Zahariades on guitar, Carlitos Del Puerto on bass, Steve Weingart on keyboards, and Eric Valentine on drums. Through out the concert, Steve acknowledged that he was fortunate enough to be playing with such a talented bunch of musicians.  

Between songs Steve spoke about an assortment of things including his career with Toto, and his recent addition to his family. Anyone who knows Luke knows that he has quite an off-color sense of humor and is not shy about sharing it with the audience. It was apparent that most of the people in the crowd were huge Luke fans and appreciated his ripping guitar and his wit.

A bit down the line Eric Valentine and Steve Weingart started out with a 3-minute instrumental jam. Towards the end of the jam, Luke joined to make it a trio. This jam turned into one of my favorite songs of the evening, “Song for Jeff.”  Luke explained to the audience that this was a tribute to the late, great drummer Jeff Porcaro. Not by coincidence the song also happens to be reminiscent of Jeff Beck. Towards the end of the song Luke kicked into 5th gear and played some of the most inspiring guitar lines I’ve ever heard.  His tone was beyond words and he was full of raw emotion.  

Soon after “Song for Jeff,” the band busted out an old classic, “Talk to Ya Later”. Great musicians always do justice to cover songs and this was no exception. Luke then introduced each individual band member with props.  Steve was also gracious in allowing each of them to shine in the spotlight. In my opinion, that is the truest form of humility for an artist.  Towards the end of the show each song had extended jam sessions including the encores, Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” and Toto’s “Road Goes On”

All in all, most of the songs from this night were from Steve’s latest release. Before the show, I thought the audience would expect to hear mainly Toto songs considering his long time history with the super group. It was obvious that the audience was just glad to enjoy his new music, his talents and to be in the presence of greatness. It is a mark of a true professional when an artist takes chances by reinventing himself and believing in it. Steve Lukather is a perfect example of this.  


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