Skip to main content

Watch Wolfgang Van Halen and Mammoth WVH’s first show opening for Guns N’ Roses

Wolfgang Van Halen performing live
(Image credit: Jim Powers/YouTube)

Days after performing their first-ever live gig last week at the Bottleneck Night Club in Kansas, the Wolfgang Van Halen-fronted Mammoth WVH took to the stage for their debut opening set for Guns N’ Roses.

The performance, which took place at Hersheypark Stadium in Pennsylvania on Saturday (July 31), marks the first time Wolfgang and his group have opened for the legendary rock band since news of a joint tour broke early last month.

It kicks off a four-month stint around the US, which will see Van Halen’s rock outfit join Slash and co for shows in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Portland, Las Vegas and more.

Speaking to Ultimate Classic Rock prior to the performance, Wolfgang admitted he was “really nervous”, saying, “I’m a very anxious person. But in a funny way, it’s very similar to how I started out in Van Halen, where the first show I played was at an arena in Charlotte, N.C. 

“This time,” he continued, “it’s at a stadium in Hershey, Penn. So it’s following in a really funny way – but definitely still terrifying. It’s an honor to be there ... and I’m going to do my best.”

There were no signs of any first-show-of-the-tour nerves for Wolfgang, though, as he, guitarists Frank Sidoris and Jon Jourdan, bass guitar player Ronnie Ficarro and drummer Garrett Whitlock treated those in attendance to live renditions of tracks from Mammoth WVH’s debut album.

Lucky for us, one eagle-eyed attendee filmed the 10-track opening performance in its entirety, catching on camera the set’s standout six-string moments, including the gargantuan riff and blistering, two-hand-tap-infused solo from You’re To Blame.

Other powerful renditions include Distance – the track Wolfgang penned for his late father, Eddie Van Halen – which Mammoth WVH’s frontman introduced by saying, “This next song is a little tough for me to play, so if you guys can help out if you know it, that would be great.”

“First show with GnR down!” wrote Wolfgang on social media after the gig. “Hershey was incredible. Thanks to everyone in the Guns N’ Roses camp for having us out. It’s an absolute honor to be here.”

Mammoth WVH’s next performance is today (August 3) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

For a full list of tour dates, head over to Guns N’ Roses’ official website.

Matt Owen

Matt is a Trainee News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.