Details About Eddie Van Halen's Last Performance

Superhuman shredder Eddie Van Halen died on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65 after a years-long battle with throat cancer. The debilitating disease had unfortunately taken him away from touring for the last five years. He played his last-ever show in 2015, but he appeared to still hold onto the hope that he would one day return to the stage.

In a July 2020 New York Times interview in which he mostly talked about painting while he waits out the coronavirus pandemic, Van Halen's original lead singer David Lee Roth said that he would have loved to get back on the road with his old bandmate, but didn't see it as a possibility. "I don't know that Eddie is ever really going to rally for the rigors of the road again," he said. "I don't even want to say I've waited — I've supported for five years ... But I did. And I do not regret a second of it. He's a bandmate. We had a colleague down. And he's down for enough time that I don't know that he's going to be coming back out on the road." Little did he know how prescient his words would be.

Eddie Van Halen's final hair metal farewell that wasn't meant to be

The New York Times called their final tour a way to "summon that same whiplash" fans got from the music of Mötley Crüe and Van Halen back when their hair was bigger. The former was planning on going out with a bang of hairspray and eyeliner, while the latter was "likely [going to] tour in some formation or another for decades to come." Although Eddie Van Halen was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001, he still hoped to rock out at arenas for a little while longer. Unfortunately, those shows in 2015 would be his last. Per Rolling Stone, Van Halen finished their 2015 tour at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where they went out on an encore of "Jump."

But fans could at least be happy that the original lineup had gotten back together in the end. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Van Halen reunited with Roth (who said that there "was always tension between [him] and Edward") in 2007 after many years of separation. After Eddie's passing, Roth tweeted a photo of himself and Eddie, and the caption "What a great long trip it's been." The man who replaced Roth in 1985 after the split, Sammy Hagar, tweeted that he was "heartbroken and speechless" and sent love to the Van Halen family.

Eddie's last solo didn't disappoint

As the Star Tribune reported after Eddie's death, Van Halen's concerts in the 21st century saw their fair share of ups and downs. The paper noted how Eddie came off as "less solid and eruptive" at a 2007 show in Minneapolis, while Roth "shined bright." When they returned to the Twin Cities five years later, the tables seemed to have turned: The guitar boasted its characteristic brilliance, while Roth "was less than diamond-quality."

However, all that glittered was truly gold at the Van Halen's final show on October 4, 2015. The famously antagonistic frontmen showed no signs of the bad blood that marred their relationship for decades. They seamlessly rocked out together on some of the band's early crowd-pleasers, like "Panama" and "Dance the Night Away," and tossed in some rarer gems, such as "Romeo Delight," "Dirty Movies," and "Light Up the Sky."

As the rock gods would have it, Van Halen ended that fateful final show with its most successful number one single, 1983's "Jump." Fans shared videos of the encore, in which Eddie's fingers tear across the frets with the same boundless energy he used to melt their faces off back in the day.

Eddie and Roth finally got it together for Van Halen's last concert

Halfway through the now historic concert, Roth turned to Eddie to let him and fans know his true feelings behind all the bickering. And according to Ultimate Classic Rock, he did it by way of a discussion about different dance moves, of all things. He was discussing the dance moves of fellow big-haired singer Jon Bon Jovi, something Roth called the "half-Jesus" — his term for Bon Jovi's one-arm-straight-in-the-air salute to his fans. "And if you really mean it, you do a fist," he said.

Then he pivoted to highlighting that singer's feud with his own bandmate. "Rumor has it that Jon is kind of at odds with the guitar player," he said. "Imagine the odds of that s*** happening. The difference is Edward and I agree to apologize every couple of summers and come out and share the good news with you." "The best years of my life, the high points of all my life — on stage with you, homeboy," he said, adding, "I will always do the half-Jesus towards you, Eddie Van Halen."