Mammoth WVH's tour with Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper's guitarist) made a stop at the iconic First Avenue in Minneapolis on November 5th. It was the second stop on the tour.

I've seen many shows at First Avenue over the years; from Clutch and Motörhead to the Dead South and Highly Suspect. It's always a favorite live music venue of mine, even if it's hard to get a decent view of the stage when you can't stand for very long.

Playing First Avenue is a right-of-passage for burgeoning rock stars, and Wolfie's next stop in Minneapolis is already at a much larger venue: opening for Metallica with Pantera at U.S. Bank Stadium. Not a bad jump!

Nita Strauss opened the night with what felt like an abbreviated set...5 or 6 songs? Maybe one or two more? What happened immediately after their set honestly blew my mind a bit: the band (Nina included) stayed on-stage to tear down and load out their gear.

This is something most often seen done by a local opener that can't afford to employ roadies...but Alice Cooper's freakin' guitar player? It was wild to see, and even after a blistering set followed by a quick teardown, Nita and the band still went back to the merch booth to meet fans. I thought that was very classy of them!

Mammoth WVH's gear was quickly set up and the band took the stage to great anticipation. I saw a plethora of Van Halen t-shirts in the crowd but heard exactly zero requests for Van Halen music. Good. Wolfgang's repeatedly said that he wouldn't perform VH tunes during a Mammoth WVH show, and he held fast to that statement.

There was, of course, a brief ode to his dad in the form of two-handed finger tapping during an extended solo.

The highlight of the night for me was when Wolfgang's band left the stage, and Wolfie stayed with just an acoustic guitar. He performed "The Distance" - a song for his father - and it brought a few tears to my eyes.

The kid's got the pedigree, the talent, and the drive to carve out his own legacy in rock & roll history. I can't wait to see what he does next!

Mammoth WVH w/Nita Strauss at First Avenue in Minneapolis

The 2nd stop of Mammoth WVH's biggest (so far) headlining tour was at the iconic First Avenue in Minneapolis on November 5th, 2023. Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper's guitarist) opened the show. There were zero Van Halen songs played (as Wolfgang Van Halen has said will happen numerous times in the past) but the spirit of his father was present in the joy Wolfgang displayed in his performance. The set was filled with Wolfie's rockers, and included a brief but emotional solo acoustic set by Wolfgang that featured "The Distance"...a song written for his late father, guitar hero Edward Van Halen.

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