See Mammoth WVH Play ‘Distance’ Acoustic Live for the First Time
Mammoth WVH are currently on the road with fellow rockers Dirty Honey for their Young Guns tour, but a couple of things were different for the band at last night's show (March 30). Wolfgang Van Halen tackled "Distance" acoustic — and by himself — for the first time.
The show took place at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, N.J., and Mammoth played their set first. It was the first time that the band performed live as a trio, as their current touring guitarist Jon Jourdan was unable to be at the show. Guitarist Frank Sidoris had previously toured with Mammoth, but is currently on the road with Slash and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.
When it came time for the band to play the gut-wrenching "Distance," which was written for Van Halen's father Eddie Van Halen, he approached the microphone with an acoustic guitar.
"I know, there's some parts missing, but I'm doing my fucking best, man. I'm so sorry," Van Halen said to the crowd. "When it comes to this next song, there were so many parts that I decided to strip it down."
This simplified live rendition of the song really allowed Van Halen's vocals to shine through, and it made for an emotional atmosphere in the crowd. And to keep the waterworks flowing, the band played a cover of Foo Fighters' "My Hero" right after, as a tribute to the late Taylor Hawkins.
"Normally in the set for this whole tour we've done so far except for the last couple of shows, we've been doing a song we really like by a band that we really like," Van Halen explained to the audience, as someone shouted out "My Hero."
"I see you have Twitter, my friend" the rocker said laughing. "Guys I fucking miss Taylor Hawkins, so we're gonna play 'My Hero,' you guys cool with that?"
See fan-filmed footage of both songs below.
Setlist.fm notes that prior to Hawkins' death, Mammoth had been doing a cover of "Them Bones" by Alice in Chains instead.
The Young Guns tour continues tonight in Philadelphia, Pa. See the remaining dates on the tour's website.