Chris Loomis

John 5 & Chevy Metal @ DesignerCon 2018 – 11/17/2018

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John 5 & The Creatures @ Anaheim Arena - 11/17/2018The 2018 DesignerCon – the annual art and design convention that mixes together collectible toys and designer goods with underground and popular art took place at The Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 16, 17 & 18. DesignerCon brings together everything from the world of design such as apparel, plush, printing, sculpture, toys, and art all under one roof along with live panels, artists signings and fun for the whole family. This was the first year DesignerCon was in Anaheim moving on from many years at The Pasadena Convention Center and in addition to moving to a larger venue, the Saturday night party brought in some major talent with a concert headlined by Chevy Metal with John 5 & The Creatures along with a live art battle by Secret Walls.

DesignerCon took over Hall C at the convention center filled with artist/vendor booths. There was everything from Start Wars to Jurassic Park to Japanese animation to Bob’s Burgers, Super Heroes and everything in between. You were able to talk with artists directly, get autographs, buy merchandise, watch demos and just have fun being around like-minded people. Gary Baseman, creator of Disney’s Teacher’s Pet was there doing a signing, poster artist/painter Tara McPherson was there and even the MC Bat Commander from the Aquabats was onsite for a meet n greet.

After a long day of walking Hall C, attendees were invited over to the Anaheim Convention Center Arena for a night of killer music by Rob Zombie guitarist and accomplished guitar wizard John 5 as well as the world’s premier dirt rock cover band Chevy Metal.

DesignerCon Photo Gallery:

If you are not familiar with John 5 – take a break from this review and go look him up on YouTube, then go buy all his albums on Amazon – if you are already a John 5 fan then you know what to expect. Combining the world of killer guitar instrumentals with horror and monster imagery, the John 5 live experience satisfies both your eyes and ears. Dressed in a white Conan the Barbarian inspired outfit and white face paint that looks like the love child of black metal corpse paint and KISS, John 5 took the DesignerCon crowd through 60 minutes of pure instrumentals that took you on a roller-coaster ride of heavy metal, rock, country, bluegrass and everything in-between.

His stage presence is exciting and haunting as he incorporates different masks along with different guitars throughout his time onstage. At one point he wears a mask of himself only to be ripped off by a killer clown exposing another skull mask all while playing a clear green liquid filled guitar with a violin bow – EPIC. It is pure euphoria watching him effortlessly work his six-string Fender Telecaster guitars evoking some of the most interesting sounds you will ever hear come from a guitar.

It wasn’t until after the 4rth or 5th song that John 5 addressed the crowd thanking them for coming and stating, “if you notice we don’t have a singer – I just love to play my guitar for you all”. In addition to John 5 on guitar, The Creatures are Ian Ross on bass and Logan Miles Nixx on drums – each a phenomenal musician in their own right.

The highlight of the set came towards the end of the show as John 5 played a remarkable medley of guitar riffs from bands such as Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Slayer, The Police, Alice in Chains, Rob Zombie, Led Zeppelin, Rage Against the Machine and more. This harvested the most crowd reaction of the night. Such a larger-than-life performance, John 5 is as talented as they come on guitar and is just an overall creative genius. He ended the set by stating “Thanks for coming, I’m gonna go home and have sex with my wife”. Catch John 5 onstage with Rob Zombie at Ozzfest on New Year’s Eve at The Forum.

John 5 Photo Gallery:

Continuing where John 5 left off, Chevy Metal took the stage and delivered 90 minutes of amazing classic rock cover-tunes. Chevy Metal is drummer Taylor Hawkins (who is also the drummer for Foo Fighters), guitarist Mick Murphy and bass player Wiley Hodgden. The really cool aspect of Chevy Metal is they play all cover songs and each member takes on lead vocals for various songs. Taylor Hawkins once stated, “we don’t have any crappy songs because they are all covers”.

The night kicked off with Rush’s “2112” then into some Van Halen and ZZ Top with bassist Hodgden on vocals. Hawkins is an absolute beast on drums as he took on lead vocals for a cover of the Faces classic “Stay with Me” then handing the lead vocals over to Murphy on guitar as the band played the most fantastic cover of “Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Charlie Daniels.

The band joked about with each other and the crowd in-between songs as the vibe was very relaxed and casual. Hawkins drum tech took over his spot on the drumkit as Hawkins took the mic center stage to sing Van Halen’s “Mean Street” and “You Really Got Me”. This was followed by some Motley Crue and the night ended with Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” and finally AC/DC’s “Let There be Rock”. There are plenty of cover bands out there, but none do it quite like Chevy Metal.

Chevy Metal Photo Gallery:

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