On the heels of the release of his sophomore album, “Mammoth II,” and embarking on a very long world tour, there is no stopping Wolfgang Van Halen!
Considering he played for Van Halen at 14, tours and fans are nothing new to the son of the late guitar god Eddie Van Halen. As a long-time Van Halen fan, I was super excited to catch WVH in person.
It’s not often you attend a concert and see just one band; there’s usually an opener, supporting band, comedian, or something. Having no opener – and the long line to enter – told me was going to be huge!
I made my way through the already-crowded venue and there were more Van Halen shirts than you would see at an actual Van Halen concert! That in itself brought a smile to my face.
This rock and roll prodigy and young musical genius has the Van Halen voice as well – a perfect combination that is destined to electrify us for the foreseeable future. His choice of musicians to accompany him on this tour couldn’t be better: Ronnie Ficarro on bass, Frank Sidoris and Jon Jourdan have guitars covered, and Garrett Whitlock provided the beat.
They kicked off the set with “Mammoth” and I was caught off guard by what I was hearing. This is some serious stadium band sound that was pumping throughout The Observatory. If you went to concerts in the ‘70s and ‘80s, this is what you would hear; that is the best comparison I can give that measures the power and energy Mammoth was emitting. It reminded me of a time before MTV, when bands like Boston, Queen, Kiss, and Van Halen dominated the airwaves and the video wars.
Music filled the Observatory – I mean FILLED! It was like an orchestra; each musician was on point, each note accounted for. They took us through “Mr. Ed” and “Epiphany,” then Van Halen commented on the number of attendees, noting it was a sold-out show.
The amazing show continued and the crowd sang along to “I’m Alright,” “Talk & Walk,” “Miles Above Me,” and “Horribly Right.” When the band played “You’ll Be the One,” I realized many of the songs are relationship songs and Van Halen sang them beautifully. Perhaps not what one would expect from a rocker!
The stacked set included “Stone,” “Think It Over,” “You’re to Blame,” and “Take a Bow” before they said goodnight.
Of course, we could not let them go and the encore included “Another Celebration at the End of the World” and their mega-hit, “Don’t Back Down.”
Another incredible night of music at the Observatory, and I look forward to seeing Mammoth WVH again!
They will tour the US for the rest of the year, returning to SoCal in December: December 7th at House of Blues San Diego and December 9th at The Belasco in LA. Plus, pick up your copy of “Mammoth II,” out now!