MAMMOTH WVH & DIRTY HONEY BRING THE YOUNG GUNS TOUR TO NEW JERSEY

Words & Photos by Diane DiMemmo

April 2, 2022

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The Young Guns Tour came blazing into The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on March 30th … locked, stocked and ready to rock and roll! Powerhouse bands Mammoth WVH and Dirty Honey (arguably the hottest new bands currently topping the charts today) gave fans a night of live music that was an intoxicating blend of classic and progressive rock. It was the perfect combination of talent to advance the rock genre to a new level and make a statement to the world that rock and roll is here to stay.

MAMMOTH WVH

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After playing bass in Van Halen for 14 years as well as in the hard rock band Tremonti... songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Wolf Van Valen is making a serious name for himself in his newer band Mammoth WVH. Their single “Distance” from debut album Mammoth WVH has been nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Rock Song” category. “Distance” was released on November 16, 2021 and debuted at #9 on Billboard’s Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and then hit #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay Chart.


Although the band was down one musician that night, Wolf handled the set like a pro … filling in on all instruments with ease and humbly admitting he had to quickly learn all of the parts. He was endearing with his commentary between songs sharing that “Think It Over” was his father’s favorite song, and discussing the impact Taylor Hawkins had on so many musicians. The band performed a moving tribute of “My Hero” to honor the legacy of the Foo Fighter drummer.

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As outstanding, dynamic and progressive as Mammoth’s rock music is … Wolf’s singing cannot be understated. His vocals are extraordinary … plain and simple. Velvety smooth yet extremely powerful with an impressive range for the rock genre. I think the crowd could’ve listened to him sing all night long drinking up the 12-song masterful setlist. No doubt that every fan there that night plans to see Mammoth WVH again when they return to our area but, alas, it was time to hear the next big band that’s currently making a name for themselves.

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DIRTY HONEY

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Dirty Honey hit the stage hard, immediately jumping in to one of their biggest hits, “California Dreamin’,” and they never looked back. Vocalist Marc LaBelle, guitarist John Notto, Bassist Justin Smolian, and drummer Corey Coverstone ripped through hit-after-hit in a 16-song setlist that included chart-toppers "Rolling 7s," "When I'm Gone," individual solos by all band members, and a cover of Bruce Springsteen’sI’m on Fire.”

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In October 2019, Dirty Honey became the only unsigned artist to ever hit #1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Hard Rock Chart. But their achievements don’t end there. Their second single/video, “Rollin 7s," went to #3 at Rock Radio and its music video has racked up more than seven-million YouTube plays. In addition to opening for The Who, Guns N' Roses, and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Dirty Honey’s self-titled debut album of 2021 skyrocketed on the Hard Rock Albums Chart to #2!

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That evening in NJ, Dirty Honey proved to the audience what all the hype and achievements are about. The guys look every part of what you’d want classic rockstars to look like and played with a passion and “joie de vivre” that can only come from genuine musicians born to share their craft.  Their musicality and technical proclivity shined throughout their set; and as Marc LaBelle ended the evening singing in the middle of the venue (with screaming fans doing everything they could to connect with him), it was apparent that Dirty Honey is the genuine article ... and that they have it in them to go all the way to the top!

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The Young Guns Tour continues to blaze a path across the US! Click here for tour dates and tickets!

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Diane DiMemmo is the founder and editor of Asbury Park Vibes. In addition to hosting the APV Podcast and Artist Spotlight series, she specializes in portrait, promo, and tour photography.

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