John 5 & The Creatures @ 1720 – 09/01/2019
Guitar wizard John 5 started releasing new songs on January 1 of this year and released his 11th album Invasion on July 31; Invasion continues on in the same style as previous albums with heavy songs, bluegrass songs, slow songs and everything in between and the videos he has released for all the singles are extremely creative and entertaining. Along with his band The Creatures, John 5 played a one-off show at 1720 in Los Angeles on Sunday night September 1 prior to the start of his fall tour “Invasion Part 2” beginning October 30. This was a special night as The Aristocrats (Bryan Beller, Guthrie Govan and Marco Minnemann) – asked personally by John 5 to open this show – played a progressive masterpiece during their time onstage prior to John 5 & The Creatures and warmed up the crowd in fine fashion.
John 5 has become a dedicated road warrior since he started his solo tours in 2015 as he is constantly bouncing between being on the road with Rob Zombie and The Creatures. The band took the stage and delivered 75 minutes of guitar driven instrumentals demonstrating John 5’s inhuman skills on the six-string. The haunting “Season of the Witch” kicked off the night with John 5 standing on a platform center stage with bright white lights shining up into his face illuminating his trademark makeup as he grinned and drooled while jamming effortlessly.
What makes a John 5 show special in addition to the amazing musicianship and fantastic songs are the visuals that go along with each song. The stage is decorated like a Halloween maze with video screens on each side of the stage displaying horror inspired graphics throughout the night. John 5 wears a mask of himself at one point then a creature comes out on stage and cuts the mask off only to display another mask – a glowing green skeleton. He wears cheese-cloth like material over his head, he switches out guitars – whites ones, black ones, clear ones with glowing green “lava” inside – he plays a banjo, a mandolin, a John 5 robot takes the stage at one point, its non-stop entertainment from start to finish. The visuals complement the music equaling a haunting experience to not be forgotten.
On bass was the young and extremely talented Ian Ross who was certainly having a good time onstage this night with proof being the constant smiles and headbanging. The Creatures drummer Logan Miles Nix had a commitment touring in Europe so could not make this one-off show so John 5 asked original The Creatures drummer Rodger Carter to sit in and he accepted then he injured his hand and had to back-out so John 5 found Los Angeles based drummer Jeff Bowders to fill in and he did a terrific job – he didn’t miss a beat (no pun intended).
With this being Los Angeles there is never a shortage of special guests at shows and on this night John 5 had his good buddy and fellow guitar nerd Joe Bonamassa come out to play two Jimi Hendrix classics to end the show. Bonamassa supplied vocals and some slick axe slinging during both songs as he and John 5 traded off licks.
There was no better way to spend the Sunday night of Labor Day weekend than at 1720 watching John 5 & The Creatures do their thing. Catch John 5 on tour starting October 30 – tour dates can be found here.
Season of the Witch | This Is My Rifle | Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers in Hell, CA | Crank It | Hell Haw I.G.R. | Howdy | Here’s to the Crazy Ones | First Victim | The Black Grass Plague | Zoinks | Behind the Nut Love | Mando Jam | Medley | I Am John 5 | Spanish Castle Magic (w/ Joe Bonamassa) | Foxy Lady (w/ Joe Bonamassa)