The “Young Guns Tour” — offering co-headliners Mammoth WVH and Dirty Honey — rolled into the “City of Brotherly Love” (Philadelphia) on Thursday (March 31st). A double bill!! Both bands are touring behind their debut albums, launched in 2021. The two headliner tour has the bands switching the opener/closer positions each night. Both bands have performed in the supporting position previously, with Mammoth for Guns N’ Roses and Dirty Honey for The Black Crowes.
Mammoth WVH opened the evening backed by bassist Ronnie Ficarro, and drummer Garrett Whitlock, missing was guitarist Jon Jourdan who had a family emergency. Wolfie said that now he has to do the work of three guitars tonight!!! Although Wolfgang Van Halen sang and performed all of the various instruments on Mammoth’s self-titled debut, he was free to focus on conquering the three-some of guitars needed and singing.
Wolfie seemed really appreciative of the receptive audience who enjoyed him since he first ran out on stage as a little one to his father Eddie Van Halen. Wolfie said he loves Philadelphia. Highlights of the performance was the an acoustic heartfelt and melodic single “Distance” — which Wolfgang devoted to his father. It’s going to flood the internet as about half the crowd had their phones up.
Following “Distance,” Wolfgang addressed the crowd to pay tribute to Taylor Hawkins, as he had been doing even before the Foo Fighters drummer’s tragic demise on the Friday previously. Again, Wolfgang referred to as Taylor a “hero.” The crowd joined in quickly and became a huge sing-a-along. Mammoth WVH then closed out the set with their No. 1 rock single “Don’t Back Down”.
((Paging Headliner #2))
Dirty Honey kick the crowd right in the face opening with “California Dreamin‘” which set the pace for the night. Behind Cory Coverstone’s thunderous beats, Lead singer Marc LaBelle, Guitarist John Notto, and bassist Jstin Smolian, slide across the stage like an old school table top hockey game. The stage swagger was at “11”.
The crowd responded to the fresh bluesy rock, and appreciated the nod to Angus Young’s birthday when the band performed AC/DC’s “Shoot To Thrill”. The band was supper tight as Notto channeled his inner Jimmy Page supplying riff, and riff in twisted contorted poses for the crowd to almost touch. LaBelle, provided new (upgraded) compilation of 70 rock idols through his voice.
During a pause, Dirty Honey relayed a story of when they heard their song being announced by Jacky Bam Bam on local radio station 933 WMMR. Dirty Honey closed out the night time with their largest hits — “When I’m Gone” and “Rolling 7s” — capping off a bluesy rock set which was high on the list for performances at the relatively young venue located in Fishtown.
Review and Photography by: Bob Linneman