Toronto, ON, Canada
August 26, 1998
Set List - Click here!
Review by R. Bray - firstname.lastname@example.org
I just got home from the show here in Toronto at the Molson Amphitheatre. What can I say? It was truly a spectacular performance. The place was absolutely packed. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band played a great blues set topped off by Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”. The KWS band left the stage around 8:45 and Van Halen came on at around 9:00.
From where I sat I could see Mike and Gary offstage warming up. Mike was joking around with the roadies, and Gary was hopping around, shadow boxing, and doing high kicks. All of a sudden, Eddie’s guitar began whistling throughout the Amphitheatre. Then came the elephant calls before the place went black. The band emerged to a roaring crowd, as Eddie tore into “Unchained”.
From there, the band followed the regular set list, playing some brand new stuff blended with some Sammy and Dave era songs. “Humans Being”, “Fire In The Hole” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” were played flawlessly and “I’m The One” absolutely blew me away. Ed’s runs and fills on this one were lightning quick and crystal clear.
Mike really shone on “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”. I had heard that he sang this one and I was really looking forward to it. His voice pierced the air in the Amphitheatre. He hit notes that made me shiver. “Jamie’s Cryin’ ” was a nice surprise, and sounded terrific. All songs they played, both old and new had the crowd going crazy.
Al’s drum solo was a real experience. He obviously has bounced back 100% from his injury in Europe. He pounded the skins like a true master of percussion. The crowd was cheering so loud that at times it almost drowned him out! The band played “Year To The Day”, a song which shook the Amphitheatre. What followed stunned the senses and boggled the mind - Ed’s solo. It was magnificent, of course. I mean, what would you expect from the greatest guitarist on earth? He pulled out his bag o’ tricks and forced his Wolfgang to make sounds that left me dumbfounded. I just couldn’t take my eyes off of his hands. He made it look so easy! Witnessing this man play the guitar live left everyone breathless. When the last notes of his onslaught echoed and died away, the crowd paused for an instant before coming back to their senses and erupting in cheers and stadium wide chants of “Eddie…Eddie…”
Ed and Gary came out to play an unplugged version of “Josephina” near the end of the show. They harmonized perfectly. The guys then ripped through an encore of “Panama” (Gary really got the crowd going during this one!) and “Jump” before saying goodnight.
Honestly, I have never seen the band so pumped. I was getting tired just watching them! Eddie ran around like a maniac for the entire show! Gary was all over the place! He did a great job tonight. He has definitely earned his place in Van Halen. Mike and Alex churned out a solid rhythm all night. I’ll never forget Ed and Al’s solos, Mike’s vocals on “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”, or Gary flying all over the stage. Eddie seems far more into playing live now than I have seen in a long while. He was incredible here during the Balance Tour three years ago, but something was noticeably missing then. That something was back with a vengeance tonight! He played this evening with the energy and enthusiasm of ten men. We love Van Halen in Canada.
Don’t miss this tour. Those who have seen it can all agree that it is a great concert spectacle. I can’t wait ‘til they come back! The Mighty VH rocked Toronto!
Review by Peter Markesic - email@example.com
I just got back from the concert and I'm speechless....I have never been so impressed in my life. Van Halen had so much energy in the show, they could have gone all night....and I wish they had....the lighting was amazing and the band was tight throughout the concert. The crowd was really into it and by my view, really enjoyed the show that just happened (I know I did).
Gary was a madman on stage. I have never seen anybody run around like that for two hours and still be able to hit all the notes with the same force that he did in the beginning of the night. Michael was amazing when he sang "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" and was on the money when he did the screams in "Fire In The Hole".
Alex was on all night with his timing and a great solo. As for Eddie....I have never been so impressed with anything more in my life than the way he can play that guitar...he made Kenny wayne Shepherd look like an amateur.
Overall the show was the best I have ever seen and I really hope that Van Halen can continue this for another 20 years. I only wish that they would do a show in Hamilton.
Review by Kristopher Kirou - firstname.lastname@example.org
Well to start off Kenny Wayne Shepherd was wicked...Then when VH took the stage the whole place went wild, it took a little bit to get used to seeing Gary on stage and not Sammy but I must say I was very impressed...Gary and the boys were simply awesome tonight and Alex kicked ass during his solo...it was a great time shared by all. Good Job Boys...
Review by SAB - email@example.com
First off, this was my 4th VH Show and I've been the biggest fan in Northern Ontario for over a decade and here is my honest review of the show.
Opening Act: Boy, Kenny has one heck of a future ahead of him.....really impressed!!!
Unchained: This is a great job to start off the show!
Without You: A little sloppy but good stuff!! My fav tune off the album!
One I Want: They did a great job with this tune!! The energy level was good...
Mean Street: Classic....very well done....I was impressed...
When It's Love: The first low point, there were some classics that Gary nailed down very well....but I'm sorry folks...this should be lifted off the set list.....Gary came really close to butchering this song.....
Fire In The Hole: In my opinion an underated song...they did a good job with it..
Why Can't This Be Love: Good job by Gary on this....
I'm The One: Very cool....very well done.....Eddie seemed 15 years younger on this one .. hehe
Drum Solo: I was hoping that Alex would do something different for this tour....but what am I going to do? Complain to the greatest rock drummer of all time? Great job Alex!!!
Jamie's Cryin': A definite highlight!!!!! I was blown away by how well Gary pulled this off!!!!!!!
Humans Being: As great as the show sounded at the amphitheatre....this didn't come out well....especially the vocals....
Somebody Get Me A Doctor: This is really refreshing, I'd rather have Mike sing a tune than just perform a solo. Mike got into it and had a blast....
Year To The Day: Another low-light....for the first time...I saw everyone from the second section and above sit down at a Van Halen show....ya gotta drop this guys...throws a wrench in the momentum since Eddie's solo (where people kept sitting...can you believe that???) follows........
Eddie's solo: Shorter than what I'm used to....but what can you say about the King??? You Da Man Ed!!!
Right Now, Ain't Talking Bout Love: Great job on these!!!!
Josephina: Good stuff....
Panama & Jump: Good closers.....crowd really got into it at the end......
All in all it was a great show.....however, I went there with the point of view that I needed to be impressed with the lineup since I wasn't too impressed with the album. Out of the 4 shows I've seen (Skydome - FUCK Tour, Molson Park - RHRN Tour, Ottawa - Balance Tour, and this one), this would be the 3rd best show I've seen. I still believe they need a great album to really sell this lineup, we know they can perform live.
Had a great time, looking forward to the next album and tour!!!!
Review by Joe Carbone - firstname.lastname@example.org
Just wanted to say that the concert was fantastic. Gary was great, the whole band was great.
I thought I was going to see a some bombs go off, but it was just as good without them.
It was good news to hear alot of the old stuff.
Michael singing was something else to see. Good stuff.
Eddie singing, Great. World's greatest guitar player, what else can I say.
Alex, the best drummer.
Gary will do wonders for the band, just give him a chance to prove himself like he did at the concert in Toronto.