Dirty Honey & Mammoth WVH @ Webster Hall (3/28/2022)

young guns tour logo

Tonight’s show was going to be an exciting one for me because I have not been to a rocking concert since the December appearance of the mighty Trans-Siberian Orchestra over at Newark’s Prudential Center. Now it’s not like there weren’t any shows taking place since that point in time but I’ve been working nights and it’s pretty hard to get to all the things that you want to attend when you are trying to earn during the times that the shows are happening. Since my only night off was a Monday I was stoked that I would get to enjoy this “Young Guns Tour” that featured both Dirty Honey and Mammoth WVH at NYC’s famed Webster Hall. I’d seen Dirty Honey once before and was incredibly impressed by both the sound and the delivery of the band and tonight I’d get to add another tick on the sheet about them. Mammon WVH would be a first go-round despite my having enjoyed some of their videos and the music I’d heard so far. Fortunately for all in attendance it was only going to be these two bands. No one was leading off and there wasn’t any terrible local that somehow secured the area gig which we find happening every now and again. If you came here for the Young Guns that was exactly what you were going to get. Dirty Honey would lead off the show and here are my thoughts on them.

Since I don’t know how many of our readers are up on the Dirty Honey cats yet, I will try to give them some kind of example about the sound being delivered from the guys. This isn’t a Metal band at all but its a solid Heavy-blues laden Hard Rock with awesome melodies that in some sense would appeal to those who like the Black Crowes and maybe even Rival Sons. Now they don’t sound exactly like them but there is a similar pocket to the vibe and its very easy to get into them at the first go-round. I knew when I first saw them with Alter Bridge and Skillet that I wanted to check them out once again. Fronted by the all too energetic Marc LaBelle the band launched into their opening number “Gypsy”. The singer commands the stage like a seasoned professional and what I liked about his movements was how aware he was of the crowd right in front of him. The folks who had pushed to the front were going crazy and there were even some girls with signs for the band. This was a Rock show for sure and the music they were putting out. As I’ve said I was still pretty new to the bands sound and need to get myself a copy of their self-titled debut release so I can absorb more of these tunes. From the earliest part of the set I enjoyed both “Heartbreaker” and “California Dreamin'” since I’ve heard those two numbers a few times before and find them to my liking. After a trio of solos from bass, drums and guitar the already exciting performance managed to get a little bit more so. They do a smooth version of the Prince classic “Let’s Go Crazy” and truly deliver their own interesting take on this song. “Another Last Time” was a highlight but then LaBelle donned a New York Rangers hockey jersey and said he had a friend attending who was going to play a little guitar with the band and out walked the now retired goalie of the Rangers, the one and only Henrik Lundquist. The sports legends guitar was also all-decked out in that which was Rangers and together they did “The Wire”. It surely made the night special and they would close with “Rolling 7’s”.

Dirty Honey Is: Marc LaBelle (lead vocals), John Notto (guitar), Justin Smolian (bass guitar), Corey Coverstone (drums)

Dirty Honey Set List:
1. Gypsy
2. Break You
3. Heartbreaker
4. Fire Away
5. Tied Up
6. Down The Road
7. California Dreamin’
8. Bass Solo
9. Drum Solo
10. Guitar Solo
11. Let’s Go Crazy
12. Another Last Time
13. The Wire
14. When I’m Gone
15. Rolling 7’s

After a short changeover, it was time for Wolfie and his group Mammoth WVH to take over the stage. Now some of you might not realize that the original name of the band that would become Van Halen was actually Mammoth so it was cool that he has brought this back to bring new music to the masses. Wolfie’s debut release is a self-titled one and he’d released a few videos from it already. “Distance” was one that had everyone reaching for the Kleenex while “Don’t Back Down” had a fun showcase of Wolf on every instrument. He can play them all but in the live sense he brings along some tight players to bring this to the audience properly. Much like the Dirty Honey set, I was coming into this show with limited background as I didn’t dig fully into the debut album yet but that will come in time. Watching Wolf do his thing was rather impressive and while he is the only son of the late great Edward Van Halen, he had a sense of humility about him that came across very well on the stage. He spoke often to the crowd and was very appreciative of their being here with them tonight. I liked witnessing that from the musician as it made him feel much more connected to the audience. Lets face it there are a ton of new bands coming up every single day and its hard to win a crowd over. Wolf and Company were doing so with song after song and I have to say that the overall sound of the debut album on EX1 is solid. It doesn’t sound like a Van Halen record and that is a good thing since everyone would be on the web comparing notes as expert journalists after one show.

What might have surprised some members of the audience was the fact that WVH wouldn’t play a single Van Halen classic during the show and had not been so far during the tour. Though I have to say that this might have been a nice surprise if he found one that worked well with the other original material he was presenting, I didn’t actually miss it. Van Halen music was some of my favorite stuff for many, many years and now resides firmly in my memory banks. Wolfie would talk a little bit more to the crowd and joked here and there to keep that engagement up and I was really enjoying this. When he started to play “Distance” a lot of us grabbed our handkerchiefs since its a moving number and then the band broke into the melodies of “My Hero” by the Foo Fighters. It was a crushing rendition and helped be more at ease about the passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins. They would close with “Don’t Back Down” and everyone seemed to leave satisfied.

Mammoth WVH Is: Wolfgang Van Halen (vocals, guitars, bass, drums, piano), Frank Sidoris (guitars), Jon Jourdan (guitars), Ronnie Ficarro (bass), Garrett Whitlock (drums)

Mammoth WVH Set List:
1. Mammoth
2. Mr. Ed
3. Epiphany
4. Horribly Right
5. You’ll Be The One
6. Stone
7. I Don’t Know at All
8. Think It Over
9. You’re To Blame
10. Distance
11. My Hero
12. Don’t Back Down

Looking back on it all I’d have to say that this was an even pairing and one that found the two acts not sounding exactly like one another. Each brought their own unique spin on material to the fore and left the audience screaming for more. I’d definitely come out to see either band once again and think that you should do the same when you see them coming to your region. As the years go on the legends leave us and there are some worthy musicians picking up the sword to do musical battle for your attention. Pay attention to what is happening because otherwise you will miss out. Stay safe out there my friends, it’s still a bit of a jungle out there.

Official: https://www.dirtyhoney.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DirtyHoneyMusic
Official: https://www.mammothwvh.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MammothWVH

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