THE YOUNG GUNS TOUR GOES THE DISTANCE IN OKC
Dirty Honey and Mammoth WVH descended onto The Diamond Ballroom on a March 12 stop of The 2022 Young Guns Tour. A cool spring night welcomed the co-headliners to a receptive and ready crowd.
Dirty Honey came out swinging and punched their way through a one hour set. While remaining engaged with the crowd, they still delivered an unblemished performance. Marc LaBelle’s vocals soared through hits like “Heartbreaker,” “The Wire,” and “Down the Road.” Guitarist John Notto shred his way through the set but displayed a colossal amount of talent by taking on Prince in their rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy.” While preserving the integrity of the classic, the band structured it in such a blues based manner, it took on new life. The delivery was so impeccable, it could have been mistaken for their next hit. Following, bassist Justin Smolian worked his way through a funky bass solo making way for drummer Corey Coverstone to slam his way through a solo so fierce it left the audience gasping. They sailed through 3 additional songs including an early hit “When I’m Gone.” This one had the audience singing in cadence through every chorus, and left the band with a smile.
After a 30 minute intermission, the lights dimmed, the crowd revved up, and Mammoth WVH took the stage. Fittingly, they opened the set with the self titled tune “Mammoth.” Wolf, strumming a sunburst prototype semi hollow EVH guitar (the first of two) belted out the lyrics while his band energized the crowd. Without a word, the band dove into “Mr. Ed.” Family genetics can’t be denied when you see him finger tap, but, you also can’t deny the talent that is his, and his alone. Talent that he has embraced, learned from and has submerged into his music. After sliding stage right, he welcomed the crowd and gave Dirty Honey the credit they deserved for a phenomenal set. He then took on dual instruments by adding keyboard with guitar for “Ephiphany”, while never missing a beat. He envelopes himself in each song, but differently each time. He’s mesmerizing and you can’t take your eyes off him.
However, that does not take away from the rest of the band who are fantastic additions to his performance. Exchanging his sunburst for the second prototype of the night, this one white in color, he returns center stage and Mammoth WVH carries the crowd through additional tunes like “Horribly Right,” “You’ll Be the One,” and “Stone.” Wolf, thankful for the reception OKC has given them, introduces and performs the tune “I Don’t Know At All.” Striking a chord in the crowd, the response boisterous. Sentiment took over the next two songs as “Think It Over” was, as Wolf states “Pop’s favorite” and “Distance” his homage to his Pop. This tune always silences the crowd in the most respectful way. The emotion connected with this song can be seen as it appears Wolf keeps his eyes closed for the tune. I’m sure a special moment of connection with the greatest love in his life, and privacy for the loss he continues to come to terms with. Not one to keep the crowd down for long, they veered from originals to one of the grungiest, hard hitting tunes there is “Them Bones” by Alice in Chains. Turning vocals over to lead guitarist Frank Sidoris, Wolf backed him up impeccably and set a precedence for any musician in the crowd during the solo. Wicked likes, frenzied fret work, and fully loaded tone catapulted him above the reigns of many guitar heroes. It was spiritual.
The set wrapped with the hit “Don’t Back Down.” The crowd was taunted to be louder as Wolf would put his ear out as if to say, “I can’t hear you!” The level of cheer was deafening, but at this point became emphatic. It was so loud, that we weren’t even aware the song had ended until he took off his guitar, grabbed his band by the hand, and took a bow collectively. An encore was requested, but not needed as the chemistry and craftsmanship of this performance was left on the stage.