For 80's music fans, hearing the news about rocker Eddie Van Halen's passing was terrible. In a year that has seen so much loss, sadness, and pain, his death just adds to the awful year we're having. Van Halen was always a band that I loved hearing on the radio. I had their Greatest Hits CD in my car but never got to see them live. If you've been living in the Treasure Valley for a while, you've had your opportunities.
Eddie Van Halen and his band played the Treasure Valley a few times. The first time was on March 30, 1979, when they took over Caldwell Stadium in Caldwell. That stadium is now called Simplot Stadium, and it seats a little over 4,000 people. The thought of Van Halen playing Caldwell is pretty incredible.
The band returned to the treasure valley on May 4, 1984, at the BSU Pavillion. We all know the venue now as the Extra Mile Arena, but on that day, it was David Lee Roth singing the number one song on Boise radio at the time, "Jump" to a sold-out crowd. They ended the show with "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love" before the fans headed for the exits.
After such a successful event, Van Halen returned to the BSU Pavillion on October 19, 1986. At this point, the band had peaked and had a new lead singer to go along with their most successful album, 5150. Sammy Hagar belted out a cover of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" to get the Boise crowd on its feet and ended the show with a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll."
The band returned to the Treasure Valley in 2004. It was their first tour since 1998 and the first to play the Treasure Valley in 18 years. This time stopped in Nampa at the Idaho Center. Sammy Hagar had just returned to the group after being fired in 1996. They started the show with "Jump" and ended with the power-ballad, "When It's Love." At the time, the band was fighting, and it turned out to be one of the last times that Sammy Hagar would perform with Van Halen.
September 22 marked the day that former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth was supposed to be in town to open for KISS at the Ford Idaho Center. That show has since been postponed for September 21, 2021.