Words & Photos by Marco Denzer

Young Guns Tour, featuring co-headliner bands Mammoth and Dirty Honey, came to the legendary Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT and delivered a phenomenal one-two punch of a show to a sold-out audience that was totally pumped about seeing the bands live. 

Mammoth, founded and fronted by the talented multi-instrumentalist Wolfgang Van Halen, took to the stage first and thoroughly kicked ass with a dozen songs that promptly had the house rocking. All titles except for their new track “I Don’t Know at All” and the Foo Fighter’s classic “My Hero”, which they played in honor of Taylor Hawkins passing, were chosen from their highly praised debut album “Mammoth”.

This guitar centric band held nothing back as they began their set with the title track “Mammoth” and played through the rest of the setlist. Garrett Whitlock (drums) and Ronnie Ficarro (bass) provided the precise rock steady foundation for Jon Jourdan (guitar) and Wolf (guitar/keyboard and vocals) to lay their guitar shredding and melodies on. Additionally, Wolf’s vocals coupled with Jon’s harmonies were spot on and the band sounded phenomenal. The musicians looked comfortable with each other on stage and played song after song with impeccable skill and heart felt emotion. It was obvious from the good vibes in the room that Mammoth’s reflective, introspective, well-written and arranged songs resonated extremely well with the audience. And this in turn translated into one hell of a good time. The show was every bit heavy rock n roll with zero fluff.

Dirty Honey, the LA band that’s taken the rock scene by storm, continued with the second set of the night and needless to say, the energy level by now was really high. The audience was very excited about checking out this quartet live. 

The group featuring vocalist Marc LaBelle, guitarist John Notto, bassist Justin Smolian, and drummer Corey Coverstone is the epitome of a hard-working band that’ll grind gig after gig until leaving their own indelible mark in rock n roll history. Their songs are well rooted in the rock essence of the 70s, 80s and 90s and musical influences of bands such as Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and other classic bands can easily be heard in their repertoire.  However, these guys are not simply imitators or fakes – they’re undeniable inheritors of that great musical gene that’s heavily influenced by the blues. Their musical style follows the tradition of rock that always suggests turning up the volume when listening to it. It’s all about infectious syncopated drum and bass grooves, rocking guitar riffs saturated with just the right amount of distortion, and raspy vocals that cry the blues like nobody’s business. 

Dirty Honey is the real deal and as such they delivered one awesome performance, they played their hearts out and thoroughly satisfied the crowd. They came to jam and have a good time with their fans… and that’s exactly what they did. 

Mammoth – Setlist


Mr. Ed


Horribly Right

You’ll be the One


I Don’t Know At All

Think It Over

You’re to Blame


My Hero – Foo Fighters cover

Don’t Back Down

Dirty Honey – Setlist

California Dreamin’
Break You
The Wire
Tied Up
Down the Road
Let’s Go Crazy – Prince cover
Another Last Time
When I’m Gone
Rolling 7s

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