I only knew of John 5 as Rob Zombie's lead guitarist, so I didn't know what type of band he had put together. All assuming a metal band of sorts, I was elated to check out his side project at Harlows night club in Sacramento on a Sunday night.
This was my first time at Harlows, located in the outskirts of the city but surrounded with Victorian homes. Nice intimate venue with exceptional sound and lighting. Not sure if the show was sold out, although for a Sunday night it was exceedingly packed tight.
The first band up was Hero Jr. from Indianapolis. A straight up four piece classic rock band that impressed the crowd. Lead singer/guitar Evan Haughey delivers some pretty killer lyrics driving tunes like "Jump Ship", which was their opening song. Hero Jr. creates a loud powerhouse sound with dual guitars, as Evan is paired up with side kick lead guitarist Ken Rose. The rhythm section is definitely a solid core in David DuBrava on Bass and Ryan Keyes whom hits so hard, he creates an thunderous explosion on the kit. Hero Jr. rocked their souls out while delivering 8 top notch songs, ending their set with "Anger Room".
If you love Rock and Roll, then this is the new band to discover. Catch them on tour now!
During the intermission, another photographer informed me that Gary Holt, guitarist from Slayer and Exodus would be joining John 5 on stage for a couple of songs. This was exciting news, and I was very happy that I got to the venue early to assure my spot up front since there is no photographer pit.
The stage was being decorated with two huge blow up Halloween arches one on each side for entry of the musicians. Colorful skulls and pumpkin lights were strategically placed for ambiance. Then I noticed two rather large light boxes on the stage, that were programed to randomally show horror movie scenes like Carrie throughout the set.
The house lights went down, and out came John 5 with his signature glow mouth piece and makeup on. He ripped us right into "Flight Of The Vulcan Kelly" from his album Careful With That Axe. This song is a frenzy of sorts, super fast guitar notes driven by quick tempo drums and a slower walk on the bass lines. Definitely an introduction song showcasing John 5's talent in his guitar mastering skills. He bridged into "Here's To The Crazy Ones". Third song up was "This Is My Rifle", definitely a standout with a militant feel which started to feel a bit like a guitar riff out of a Rob Zombie song. John 5 played several different guitars including a red laser, and a steel guitar, a mandolin, and banjo on "Jiffy Jam", giving us a bluegrass ride. Throughout the evening flowing into musical themes, John 5 would change up his disguises of masks, and random creatures would appear holding babies and assorted props. He kept us entertained anticipating what disguise would come next.
When they started to play "Enter Sandman", a Metallica favorite, we were blessed with the entrance of Gary Holt. Smiling and ready to rock! Gary jammed hard for a couple of songs and appeared to be having fun on stage with the rest of the band. So epic!
John 5 And The Creatures are, Ian Ross on bass rocking his 5 string, and Logan Nix on drums. They played 17 instrumental songs plus some rock medley samples from bands like The Police, Van Halen, Alice In Chains, and a snippet of Michael Jackson's "Beat It".
Although it is truthfully hard to catoragize his style of playing as he breaks down into metal/rock/jazz/country and bluegrass fusions, all the while bending and sustaining notes.
This was a night to remember, and I am more of a John 5 fan than ever before.
I highly reccomend you catching him on tour now. You will be blown away!
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