My very first concert working with KQRS was Van Halen at the Xcel Energy Center in 2012. Even though live shows feel like an eternity ago, I remember this night like it was yesterday. The entire event was electric, and I was consistently dazzled by the energy protruding both on and off the stage. Only one thought seemed to circulate through my head the entire evening… “What the hell is going on?!”
Seeing Eddie Van Halen play the guitar for the first time was more than exciting — it was astonishing. The sight awakened my soul, and gave me a feeling that just felt right. Before that moment, I had never seen anyone play the guitar like that. Every time he lit up the stage, my mouth dropped wide in awe. His technique is extremely impressive; almost alien-like in person. From Somebody Get Me a Doctor to Eruption, I simply could not take my eyes off that kind of mastery.
Unfortunately, Eddie Van Halen, legendary guitarist and Van Halen co-founder, has died at the age of 65 after a battle with throat cancer on Tuesday, October 6th.
To lose a rock and roll icon so young overwhelms me with sadness. Although we may never know our heroes on a personal level, we allow ourselves to feel close to them. It makes sense; their music got us through some of the most high and low points of our lives. That fact is a powerful one, and I feel a deep sense of empathy towards the many, many Van Halen fans scattered around the world.
I guess I always thought I would have the chance to see Van Halen again. In no way did I think my first time seeing them would be my last. It feels unfinished in a way. Unlike other bands that may replace their musicians who have passed on, Eddie Van Halen cannot be replaced. I usually always resonate most deeply with the singer of a band, but in Van Halen’s case, Eddie is the frontman. He simply is Van Halen.
Van Halen always takes me to my happy place, and I am greatly sad I will not be able to experience it live again. I believe Eddie was all about fun, and enjoyed a great deal out of performing and bringing people joy. The kind words his friends and family said about him after his passing make him out to be an honorable man. I am so very sorry for those close to him who have to endure his loss.
There is no doubt about it, the world will miss Eddie Van Halen.