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Mammoth WVH // Live @ Bogart’s // 3.1.24

Article & photos by: Linda Carlson


Cincinnati, OH – The long line of rock fans that formed outside Bogart’s on this Friday night didn’t seem to mind the incessant drizzling rain.  They were there to experience the top-notch rock line-up of Nita Strauss and Mammoth WVH.

Nita Strauss is a powerhouse guitarist and dazzling performer – her nickname of “Hurricane Nita” is well-deserved.  Alongside her solo work, Strauss’s resume includes touring with Alice Cooper and Demi Lovato.

Nita Strauss

Her stage presence is nothing short of fierce.  Attired head to toe in form-fitting black, she draws attention from start to finish not only for her ferocious shredding, but also for her dynamic stage presence – she never stands still!  Always on the move.

Strauss worked the audience with a smile.  She greeted these Ohio fans with the classic shout of “O! H!” to which the crowd responded with a shouted “I! O!.”  She stated that although she lives in Los Angeles, the music folks there all know of Bogart’s in Cincinnati – a nod to the rich history of the venue.

Nita Strauss

She and her band, featuring growling vocals from Kasey Karlsen, put on a raging 40-minute set:

  • Summer Storm
  • Our Most Desperate Hour
  • Mariana Trench
  • Alegria
  • The Quest / Drum Solo
  • The Wolf You Feed
  • Through the Noise
  • Dead Inside
  • Victorious

After Strauss fired up the crowd, it was time for headliner Mammoth WVH to take the stage. Mammoth WVH is Wolfgang Van Halen’s solo effort, where for his studio productions he provides not only the vocals but all the instruments as well, including lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, and percussions.

With a much more unassuming stage presence than Strauss, “Wolf,” who is the son of the late Eddie Van Halen and ‘80s darling Valerie Bertinelli, welcomed the large Cincinnati audience with a grin.  He also made the “O! H!” cry, and the crowd shouted back “I! O!”  It really is an unfailing ice breaker.

Mammoth WVH

According to the band’s website:

“The name Mammoth is really special to me.” says Wolf. “Not only was it the name of Van Halen before it became Van Halen, but my father was also the lead singer. Ever since my dad told me this, I always thought that when I grew up, I’d call my own band Mammoth, because I loved the name so much. I’m so thankful that my father was able to listen to, and enjoy the music I made. Nothing made me happier than seeing how proud he was that I was continuing the family legacy.”

Wolf is a bit restrained as a performer, with subdued stage lighting that not only gave a more intimate feel to the set, but also offered some seclusion.  There was a steady stream of constantly moving lights that lit the crowd and offered visual drama. Wolf stood on a simple carpet with his EVH guitar and a microphone.

Mammoth WVH

He shared with the Cincinnati fans how it had been three years since he was last in Cincinnati, and how he had no idea what to expect in terms of a turnout this time – he was thrilled with the burgeoning crowd.

Demonstrating his warm sense of humor, Wolf told the crowd that he wanted to keep everyone there – “It’s Friday,” he said with a grin, “Wanna hang out for another 2 hours?”  When he smiled, it lit his whole face.

Mammoth WVH

He shared the stage with touring musicians Frank Sidoris (guitar), Jon Jourdan (rhythm guitar), Ronnie Ficarro (bass), and Garrett Whitlock (drums).

The band performed a terrific set:

  • I’m Alright
  • Right?
  • Epiphany
  • Miles Above Me
  • Like a Pastime
  • Horribly Right
  • Optimist
  • Stone
  • Distance (Acoustic)
  • Think It Over
  • Mammoth
  • You’re to Blame
  • Take a Bow
  •  Encore:
  • Another Celebration at the End of the World
  • Don’t Back Down


  • Another Celebration at the End of the World
  • Don’t Back Down

Mammoth WVH moves on to the United Kingdom in late March, with tour dates throughout Europe through April, returning stateside in early May.  Visit the band’s website for upcoming tour dates:

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.