The Gothic Theater is one of my favorite venues in Denver to cover a show, so when I saw that Mammoth WVH and Nita Strauss’s tour would be playing there, I was very excited. As I passed the theater to park, the line of fans was around the block for the sold out show. Once inside I made my way to the stage only to see more equipment, especially guitars then I have seen at the Gothic before. Considering the artist’s who were performing this night, maybe not so surprised.
Starting this night off was Nita Strauss who I have had the pleasure of covering her solo tour a couple of years ago and more recently, this past September with Alice Cooper. So I had a pretty good idea of what I was about to see and hear. As the band members made their way onto the stage, the packed venue let out a deafening cheer of welcome and Nita following her bandmates out opened their set with, “Summer Storm” from Nita’s recently released second album, The Call of the Void.
Nita’s stage presence is something to see as she works her magic on the guitar. The first half of the set was all instrumental mostly from her first album, Controlled Chaos. Nita had her fans mesmerized as she moved about the stage interacting with her bandmates and the crowd. Several guest vocalists appeared on her most recent album, and as the band began the second portion of their performance, they were joined by vocalist Kasey Karlsen who wowed the crowd with her impressive vocal skills.
The band saluted an enthusiastic audience for an incredible performance by lining up arm in arm and taking their bows after finishing their set with "Victorious."
Nita Strauss touring members:
Josh Villalta - drums
Johnny Young - rhythm guitar
Christopher Dean - bass
Katt Scarlett - keyboards
Kasey Karlsen - vocals
Our Most Desperate Hour
The Quest/Drum Solo
The Wolf You Feed
Through the Noise
I sometimes wonder if the crowd ever pays attention as the stage hands and some of the musicians themselves turn over the stage with the efficiency of a drill team. It is something to watch.
This was an older crowd that cheered when the "Night Prowler" tape started, shaking the Gothic Theater's rafters as the band members took to the stage. A moment later, Wolfgang made his way to the front of the stage as his fans continued cheering. Opening his set with, “Mammoth” from his first album, the venue was rocking. Moving through his set of music, the touring members would move about interacting with each other and the crowd. When the band would finish a song, the roar from the crowd had Wolfgang stepping back a bit and his expression of gratitude on his face was something to see.
As his father guided him in his early years, today Wolfgang has taken that guidance to another level through his music. Mammoth II, which was released just this past August, has been overwhelmingly received by his fans. Even as their set of music starts winding down, Wolfgang is still surprised by the rousing support of his music from his fans. Finishing the evening with “Don’t Back Down” from the first album, saw the crowd cheering as loud as ever and wanting more, Wolfgang graciously bid them good night.
Mammoth WVH members:
Wolfgang Van Halen – lead & backing vocals, lead & rhythm guitar, keyboards, piano, bass guitar, drums, percussion, all studio instruments
Additional touring lineup
Frank Sidoris – rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals
Jon Jourdan – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Ronnie Ficarro – bass, backing vocals
Garrett Whitlock – drums, percussion
Miles Above Me
Like a Pastime
Think It Over
Distance [Solo, Acoustic]
You're to Blame
Take a Bow
Another Celebration at the End of the World
Don't Back Down