Guitar wizard John 5 has made quite a name for himself over the years having played with Marilyn Manson, David Lee Roth, Rob Halford and numerous other musicians in all musical genres. His exposure has sky rocketed since joining Rob Zombie’s band in 2005 which was the perfect match made in hell and he has continued to produce several solo instrumental albums in parallel. John 5 finally took his guitar talents out on the road a couple years ago as John 5 & The Creatures and he is currently out supporting his latest solo effort Season of the Witch which was released on March 3. Making a rare Orange County appearance on Thursday night march 16, John 5 & The Ceatures played an intimate show at The Slidebar in Fullerton. Joining in on the festivities was Los Angeles based The Mendenhall Experiment and Orange County’s Kaustik.
Maybe holding a capacity of 200-250 people, The Slidebar is a fantastic place to see a show and the place was packed on this night to no surprise. The Mendenhall Experiment kicked off the night and delivered a high energy set led by guitarist Brandon Mendenhall who believe it or not has Cerebral Palsy and has successfully overcome his disability and rocks out with the best of them. Also vocalist Mario Valadez is quite a performer and passionate frontman. The energy in the room was taken up a few notches when Kaustik took the stage and delivered a brutal hook laden dose of hard, fast heavy metal. Led by bassist/vocalist Robbo’s ferocious delivery and a twin guitar attack that pierces your ears, the band layed the perfect foundation for John 5 & The Creatures to take the stage.
Opening the show with “Guitars, Tits and Monsters” off the new album Season of the Witch, John 5 delivered almost 75 minutes of guitar mastery that touched the spectrum of all musical genres. With his signature white facepaint and bleach blond hair, John 5 took the crowd through a musical journey through his solo efforts and quite often perched himself on a small riser center stage, right in front of the crowd that had bright white spotlights facing up into his face making for a very spooky and ominous visual as he slayed his guitar.
Switching guitars often to different versions of Fender Telecaster’s, one of which included a transparent body filled with a glowing liquid that John 5 took a bow to much in to the likes of Jimmy Page. He also played a banjo and a mandolin type guitar during his solo and the crowd at The Slidebar actually got quite rowdy during parts of the show with some serious headbanging and fist pumping during some of the faster tempo songs. The rhythm section is made up of Ian Ross on bass and Logan Nix on drums, both who show extreme talent respectively and round out the bands massive sound.
The last two songs of the night were definitely a highlight as he played Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” to which people were actually headbanging to and the last song of the night was a medley of heavy metal songs by Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Marilyn Manson, Rage Against The Machine and many more. This obviously got the biggest and loudest crowd reaction of the night.
John 5 & The Creatures continue touring through mid-April, making their way across the USA. If you are a John 5 fam or just a guitar player fan – DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW – it is a must see that will leave you totally mesmerized by John 5’s talent. Check www.john-5.com for our date specifics.
John 5 Set List:
Guitars, Tits and Monsters | Flight of the Vulcan Kelly | Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers in Hell Ca | Here’s to the Crazy Ones | This Is My Rifle | Jiffy Jam (Jerry Reed cover) | Hell Haw I.G.R. | Season of the Witch | Portrait of Sidney Sloan | First Victim | Guitar Solo | The Black Grass Plague | Behind the Nut Love | Making Monsters | Beat It (Michael Jackson cover) | Medley
John 5 Photo Gallery
Kaustik Photo Gallery
The Mendenhall Experiment Photo Gallery