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Mammoth WVH // Live @ The NorVa // 5.8.24

Article and photos by Wendy Podmenik Woodell

NORFOLK, VA– Americans in the 80’s were enamored with adorable actress Valerie Bertinelli and mesmerized with incredible guitarist of Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen. The pair married in 1981 and had a son, Wolfgang Van Halen, known affectionately as “Wolfie”. Named after the famous classical musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Wolf’s interest in music was self directed. He was not forced to take after his father’s career, yet by the age of nine he opted to try his hand at several different instruments (drums, bass, guitar, keyboard), becoming quite fluent with each.

Eddie Van Halen realized his son was something of a musical prodigy and encouraged Wolf’s experimentation. In the early 2000s, Wolf was invited to play onstage with Van Halen as bassist, leading to recording with the band on 2012 album A Different Kind of Truth. In 2013 Wolf officially joined Mark Tremonti in Tremonti, contributing to two studio albums.

Wolf’s father, Eddie, tragically passed away in 2020 from complications after a long bout with cancer.

In 2021 Wolf made the jump into his own rock project, named Mammoth WVH in homage to his late father’s first band’s name. Comfortable and conversational onstage, he walks into the welcoming arms of fans that have been waiting years for his debut, thanks to the lasting popularity of his parents. Indeed, he is the prodigy that his father predicted, as he not only writes the songs for his albums, but is also vocalist and plays all the instruments. His first studio album Mammoth WVH  had two singles debut at #1 on Billboard’s Rock Charts. His second album, Mammoth II was recently released in August of 2023.

Emotional and enduring, the Grammy nominated song “Distance” was written in tribute for his father.

Many local musicians attended this particular show; a good gauge on the level of talent and potential present on the stage. Every song was catchy, Wolf’s vocals were good. The night started with “I’m Alright”, “Right”, then “Epiphany”. Mid set turned to acoustic with Wolf playing “Distance” under a spotlight, and then among the following songs were “You’re to Blame” and “Better Than you”. Wolf’s presence is one of a quiet yet immense pride and joy in presenting his music to an appreciative audience. Ending the evening with “Don’t Back Down”, listeners can detect in Wolf’s overall catalog of work the influence of not only his father via guitar licks and tapping, but also Mark Tremonti’s style in composition. His attack onstage is confident. This is a young man full of potential and talent, well worth catching in an intimate setting before he graduates to amphitheater level stages.

Wendy Podmenik Woodell
Since entering the world of photography in 2013, WENDY PODMENIK has focused her interest on live music. Her ultimate goal is to successfully present the live music genre as an art form which preserves the expression, emotion, and energy of specific moments in time. ////// GLENN WOODELL spends his musical time working both on and around the stage. He's spent decades behind the lens as a visual artist, and for his career, studied human vision as a scientific researcher. His time on the stage these days is either spent holding on to a bass guitar or a camera.