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John 5 and the Creatures at the Empire

Akron, OH (March 10, 2019)JOHN 5 and the Creatures at the Empire Concert Club and Bar with special guests Dead Girls Academy and Jared James Nichols. Reminiscent of the previously released album Season of the Witch, JOHN 5 is right in the middle of releasing monthly music videos, starting with Zoinks!, Crank It – Living with Ghosts, and this month’s latest, I am JOHN 5. As if John is not busy enough between videos and core duties as Rob Zombie’s lead guitarist, we were lucky enough to catch JOHN 5 on tour supporting his new and upcoming album, “Invasion, slated for summer 2019 release.

JOHN 5 © Splice Magazine – Ron Claus

OK, so where to start with JOHN 5. Monsters? Manson? Hee Haw? Zombie? KISS? Robots? Telecasters? A laundry list of coolness, I think I’ll start here: A master of the telecaster and as diverse as Buck Owens is to Marylin Manson, JOHN 5 is nothing less than a guitar phenomenon at the highest levels. Always with guitar in hand, and usually in costume for the Instagrammers, it’s hard to deny John’s command and precision of the guitar, no matter the genre. Whether you appreciate the chicken pickin’ of an old rag, the sound of a steel guitar, classic rock and pop, or some heavy metal monster mash, your ears will be in for a motley crew of audible greatness. Kind of like, what the heck kind of song was that, and before you can say, “hey, Grandpa, what’s for supper”, John has moved on with guitar riffs that only flying robots can keep up with. And yes, you want more.

 JOHN 5 © Splice Magazine – Ron Claus

Starting the show with the crowd making room, JOHN 5 takes the stage dressed in what appears to be a white angel outfit, all while being accompanied by bassist Ian Ross and drummer Logan Miles Nix. The stage was further crowded with blow up monsters and large screen TV’s running classic monster movie clips, including Godzilla. John starts with “Season of the Witch from the 2017 self-titled album, followed by the technical and high-revving shred ofThis is my Rifle, which is actually a tribute to guitar virtuoso Al di Meola and someone who John has collaborated with in the past. Intricate and diverse, John’s third song of the night is “Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Pickers in Hell which is off the “Careful With That Axe” album.


Crank It – Living with Ghosts! was the fourth of the night and the second video release of the year. Dark with a beat the dead can dance to, John is at home since this could almost pass as a Zombie tune. Nothing better than Rita injecting life into the background as the crowd sang along, “crank it mother f*cker”!


Next up was Hell Haw I.G.R. and as you can tell by the name, a ghoulish version of John’s TV watching past. No matter how you slice and dice it, country is in John’s blood, and this is a country jam that John does like no other. Keeping in sync with the country sound, a brand-new shred Howdy was introduced to the crowd of which, John mentions it’s in contention for making the “Invasion album. The second set of songs was closed with “Here’s To The Crazy Ones” that’ll even have the Planet of the Apes head bobbing.

JOHN 5 © Splice Magazine – Ron Claus

Guitar distortion ablaze with heavy and eerie overtones, “First Victim” started the third set as the intro for “Black Grass Plague” which is a tune known for its fast fingered twang, fret crawling, and mid-song mandolin / banjo swap. The song up next, John took a left turn and rolled into the first video off the Invasion album, “Zoinks!”. Nothing short of a Scooby Doo and Groovie Goolies inspired tune, this twang, bang and slap song was released January of this year.


The evening would not have been complete without “Behind The Nut Love” which is a tune where John plays behind the fret board nut, bending the strings which creates a smooth sound reminiscent of a steel guitar. Definitely a JOHN 5 original and something to see and hear. Next up, John takes center stage with the mandolin and head scarf to play “Mando Jam”. And if country and horror rock was not enough, a crowd favorite of MJ’s Beat It has the crowd yelling with metal horns high in the air. Finishing up the evening, was a medley jam of Manson, Zombie, Van Halen, KISS, and many others all rolled into one long sweep of guitar heaven. Perhaps that’s why JOHN 5 wore that angel outfit after all.

03/10/19 - John 5 and the Creatures


John 5:

The Empire Concert Club & Bar


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