Van Halen: The Ambulance Tour (August 18 & 19th 1995)-Toronto

 

So Van Halen hits the tour circuit in the Summer of 1995 and announces  two shows in Toronto(both sellouts) that myself and The Boss (my wife Sue)  attended which was  cool for the fact that it’s not to often well ever actually that a band I have gone to see has played back to back nights in the same city!

So if you’re traveling all the way from Thunder Bay why not go to both nights! So we did!

Halen was touring in support of the decent Balance studio record which came out earlier in 95. By the time the tour hit Toronto it was dubbed the Ambulance Tour Drummer Alex Van Halen was sporting a neck brace while Brother/Guitarist Eddie Van Halen was having hip issues from perhaps the  many years of his body taking a hard toll from the stage and beyond….

Opening  was hometown Toronto Act Our Lady Peace that had been playing  a bunch of shows in the U.S for Halen. I knew of OLP by MuchMusic playing there videos but hadn’t taken the bait yet but they played a tight 8 song set which featured a cover version of Neil Youngs ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’. 

After a quick changeover VH hits the stage opening with Right Now which surprised me to be totally honest with you. The tempo of Right Now is kicked up a notch live so it worked out. The show leaned heavily on the current Balance album of course(7 songs deep)   out of the 22 played that night in T.O.

Along with the opener (Right Now)Poundcake/Top of the World represented 1991’s F.U.C.K record while Why Can’t This Be Love/Dreams came from 1986’s 5150 album.

1988’s O.U.8.1.2 had one song featured the  brilliant Mine All Mine which for me was a highlight as I love that dribble like synth ala The Who and Halen just sledgehammer there sound over the track.

So if you’re wondering about the Davey Roth era…..well Jump and set ending Panama were played and a snippet of another track was played as well..watch the video below for a ‘PSYCH-OUT-MOMENT’

The crowd went bonkers when Ed/Alex and Eddie did that little snippet than just like that……..done! HAHA

If you recall when  I reviewed a ways back here at Arena Rock Halen’s 1991 show and by the time 1995 rolled around  it was easy to see how Halen had aged in 4 years. Musically a little more serious and Live as well.

Case in Point:

1991- Eddie was sliding all over the stage and doing those crazy Flying Eddie’s   while knocking back a can of Heineken after each song.

1995- Eddie  did very few Flying Eddie’s. As well from what I remember he didn’t chug any alcohol as well. It was an older wiser Eddie. Yeah he still brought his A game in regards to his guitar playing like that would be in doubt!

Sammy Hagar/Micheal Anthony had the energy that night and you know they were the live goofball’s in Halen at that point which countered pointed  the two somewhat crippled Brothers….

The set list was the exact same each night with the only exception was Feelin was flipped out in favour of Aftershock during the back to back nights.

Both shows were good and the crowd was into it. MuchMusic filmed it and televised it. Halen was supposedly going to release this as an official video but by Sam quitting or getting fired whoever you believe the video was canned but thanks to YouTube it’s all there…

If I was to pick which Sammy Halen show I preferred out of the 3 Sam shows I seen in the 90’s  I would probably pick the 1991 performance as Halen was a little more heavier/loosey-goosey in their performance at the Winnipeg show. A few years aged and Halen though still delivered it in 1995 A little more serious  but things were going on internally as well but at that time I like many others had no idea what would happen in less than a year…..

**- So I see there are rumours out there floating about that Mikey may return to Halen? Whadda think? Myself I have a few Theories..

1- Mikey denied it but if he signed a deal he would have to keep his mouth shut regardless. So maybe/maybe not?

2-Eddie Trunk made a great point on his Radio Broadcast that if Anthony goes back it’s not as a member he will cut a deal just like how Roth since he has returned cuts a deal to get X amount of dollars to do shows /album etc. Basically  your people talk to my people etc… Play the concerts collect the Loot..move on!

3-Hagar can now blame Ed and Alex for stealing his Chickenfoot Bass Player! HAHA…

4-I would like it to happen personally as Dave could use the help on the vocals! The lead vocals will still be messy but Mikey will shift a ton of focus on him by just being there and we all know Anthony still has his vocals…

5-Ticket Boost as the 2015 Tour was patchy in some markets! Ask Brian ‘BOP’ Zinger about the London Ontario outdoor show! No new album to plug so the promoters of the London show lost $500,000 as they were expecting 15,000 only 7,500 attended!

OUCH! And…

“Another tour on the receiving end of negative industry chatter: Van Halen,” Billboard magazine says in a July report on summer tours. “One source says that the Live Nation shed trek is suffering from ‘some real bad counts’ — as low as 4,000 out of the gate — and another notes that the outing, which began July 5 in Seattle, is ‘definitely one in trouble.’”

Double Ouch!! But on a Lighter Note…

6- Most importantly The return of the Jack Daniels Bass!

So do you think Mikey returns to the chaos known as VH??

 

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21 thoughts on “Van Halen: The Ambulance Tour (August 18 & 19th 1995)-Toronto”

  1. First, great review of the show. Second, no VH in 2019!! It is Wolfie’s solo and the Halen brothers are supporting. I hear that rumor more than the actual VH return. Let’s start a new one…VH will open for Kiss on their farewell tour!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember watching this on MuchMusic! My review was too much Balance, lol! I’d be surprised if Mikey returned to VH only because a Van Halen now holds his former position. Maybe he comes back and only sings backup????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting theory on Mikey returning to Halen!
      I think it may not happen but Anthony could take the high road..they need to drum up some kind of buzz as they have done 3 tours ..2 of which were Greatest Hits sets while one tour was plugging A different Kind of Truth..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But man it was a great album. Just edged out Rush that year for my Fav
        2012 had not only those two but The Cult and ZZ Top with great albums as well
        Even Kiss with Monster was good

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic review Deke. Might as well go for both nights! Brother Wilf has a hotel and tickets to both Maiden shows in Taranna this coming August. Maybe you taught him a lesson!

    I think Anthony should return, I don’t really care how or why. He just should. All deference to Wolfgang.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I told him I’d seen they were coming back in August and he felt bad ‘cos he and his other buddy had already booked this whole thing. No feeling bad, Dude, I’m cool! And he gets to see them two nights in a row!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I can see it happening. Original line-up is a huge draw. I’m surprised it didn’t happen last year for the 40th Anniversary, right enough. Anyhoo, I’d be very interested in seeing that…

    As for Van Hagar… I revisited some of that stuff recently and I’m still not shifting. There’s something about Van Halen with Roth… I think they became a bit generic rock with Sam the Chicken Man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HAHA…Chicken Man!
      I dunno for me its the same name but two different bands…
      One was party Rock with Dave and the other was more mainstream rock with Sam…
      I dig em Both but I give the edge to the Dave albums as those first 6 albums are perhaps the Greatest Six pack of rock ever unearthed!
      Sam Hagar stuff was decent a little more serious but still packed some oomph at times..
      Still love A.F.U

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, two very different bands… I’m with you all the way regarding those Dave era albums; some of the best rock albums out there for sure. Van RotHalen is much more exciting. Even the 2012 album is brilliant.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think Michael Anthony will return. And if he does, he’s not enough of a drawcard to get people to buy a ticket.

    And as much as it pains me to say it, Halen with Hagar will sell a lot more tickets then Halen with Roth will do, because Hagar still brings it live and Roth is well, Roth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your right the interest would be higher for Hagar as his voice is still there….
      The Brothers are pretty twisted and as a fan for almost 4 decades when they get in these quiet periods with info it drives me bonkers yet when they announce something I’m all over it with Glee! haha

      Liked by 1 person

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