Mammoth WVH and Nita Strauss Perform at Chicago’s Classic Vic Theatre

Mammoth WVH | Chicago | Photo by: © Ian Bardecki
Mammoth WVH | Chicago | Photo by: © Ian Bardecki
Mammoth WVH | Chicago | Photo by: © Ian Bardecki
Mammoth WVH | Chicago | Photo by: © Ian Bardecki

Chicago, IL – With Nita Strauss in tow, Mammoth WVH strolled right into Chicago on their very first headlining tour, and rocked the Vic Theatre. The band, led by Wolf Van Halen, sounds and feels like they’ve played over 500 shows together, with each member playing off one another and interacting with the audience. Wolf might play all of the instruments while recording the albums, but his touring lineup has remained consistent with Ronnie Ficarro on bass, Garret Whitlock on drums, Jon Jourdan on rhythm guitar and Frank Sidoris rounding out additional guitar parts and lead.

On tour in support of their most recent release, Mammoth II, the band opened their set with “Right?” from their first release before leading into their newer material “Miles Above Me” and “Like a Pastime”. While not a stranger to touring, Wolf has clearly gotten more comfortable being the writer, singer, and the front man for the band that pays homage to his late father. Wolf several times thanked the audience for coming out and supporting the music, even stating that the Mammoth II album material was written while he was coping with the passing of his father. Something that he felt was lost among some of his fans since the majority of the first album was written and recorded before his passing.

And while he’s no stranger to the guitar neck, playing fast licks like those from “Don’t Back Down” and “Right?”, Wolf also performed a heartfelt acoustic rendition of “Distance”, stating that during an earlier show on the tour, they were down a couple of members due to scheduling conflicts. He decided that since there were other parts missing from how it was recorded, it was best to strip it down to how it was originally written and performed for his father. The band as a group had since decided that he should probably do it that way moving forward, as it had a much more profound impact with the audience.


Nita Strauss | Chicago | Photo by: © Ian Bardecki
Nita Strauss | Chicago | Photo by: © Ian Bardecki

Nita Strauss started off the evening with her own impressive set, which included a first half of instrumentals, and then Kasey Karlsen came out and impressively took over all of the vocals on such songs as “Wolf You Feed”, “Dead Inside” and “Victorious”. The rest of the band was made up of Christopher Dean on bass, Josh V on drums, Katt Scarlett on keyboards, and Johnny Young on rhythm guitar, Nita is currently out on tour supporting her recent release, The Call of the Void. The album features guest vocalists Dorothy, David Draiman of Disturbed, Lizzy Hale of Halestorm, and Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy to name a few.

Mammoth WVH

Mammoth WVH | Chicago | Photos by: © Ian Bardecki


Miles Above Me
Like A Pastime
I’m Alright
Think It Over
You’re To Blame
Take A Bow

Another Celebration At The End Of The World
Don’t Back Down

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Nita Strauss

Nita Strauss | Chicago | Photos by: © Ian Bardecki


Summer Storm
Desperate Hour
Mariana Trench
The Quest
Wolf You Feed
Dead Inside

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Show Date: Nov 09, 2023

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Ian Bardecki
Born in Scotland, raised in the United States, based in Chicago. Ian Bardecki is a professional photographer, avid motorcyclist, reader, IT geek, gaming and comic book nerd, who was bathed in music at a young age by his mother who constantly played classical piano in their home. While she also introduced him to the Beatles and Elvis, his father forced on him Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, the local paper boy had him listening to Alice Cooper, his uncle then turned him onto KISS and his first 8 track tape, while his friends turned him onto punk music. Today, his music library ranges from Amadeus Mozart to ZZ Ward and everything in between. Hesitantly agreeing to fill in one night to photograph a concert at a local venue in San Francisco for a friend, was where the accidental love and passion for concert photography was born and hasn’t stopped growing since. As a freelance photographer, Ian has had the honor of working with various artists like, John 5, Sick Puppies, Scott Stapp, Drowning Pool, Anti-Flag and Art of Dying, just to name a few. Ian can be found on Instagram and Facebook under Center Stage Pictures.