April 22, 2024

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John 5 shows off his diverse guitar skills to the Arcada Theatre

John 5 and the Creatures

Arcada Theatre, St Charles IL

February 1, 2023

Performance Review & Photos 

Roman Sobus

John 5 is one hell of a fine guitarist, but probably one of the most underrated around. He has played with Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Halford among others. He has also collaborated with a long list of artists such as Alice Cooper, David Lee Roth, Rod Stewart and Garbage. His playing is precise to perfection. He is currently touring with an abbreviated version of his side project band, “The Creatures” and will be heading out on Tour with Motley Crue later this year replacing long time guitarist Mick Mars.

Thursday’s performance was not what I would consider ordinary by any stretch of the imagination! If you had ever attended a John 5 concert, you already know the performance is as much theater as it is concert. Ghouls come and go to and from the stage as the evening progresses. There was very little of that Thursday night. The Arcada Theater is also not what I might consider a “Metal” venue. It is a traditional restored Art Deco venue with comfy seats. The John 5 fans attending did not seem to mind. Most stood through the 80 minute set.

The stage was toned down version of his usual set without all the creepy, scary, statues with only video monitors providing ever-changing clips synched to the music. John came on stage without his traditional face make-up and immediately got to doing what he does best! Beginning with “Season of the Witch”, and rolling along through the 19 selection  set. He paused only briefly between songs to change guitars, from the ample selection he brought along.

Midway through the set, he stopped and said “Let me introduce my band to you”. “This won’t take long! Drums: Alejandro Mercado.” – pointing out the streamlined personnel on this tour. With that he got a chuckle out of the crowd and moved forward.

Most of the selections were The Creatures creations, including “Que Pasa”, “Crank It – Living With Ghosts”, “Zoinks!”, “How High the Moon” and “Creepshow”.  Covers included “Thunderstruck” (AC/DC), Detroit Rock City (Kiss), “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” (Queen) and “Georgia on my Mind” (Hoagy Carmichael and his Orchestra)

John 5 loves to play, he loves to shred, and improvise. The guitar is his passion and it shows. If you love Metal, or want to see one of the best guitar players around, catch a John 5 performance soon. You can still see him up close at a medium size venue. I don’t believe that will be the case for very long or when he goes on tour with Motley Crue!

There are approximately 20 dates on this tour which concludes March 1 in San Diego. 


Photo Gallery : John 5 – Arcada Theatre (02.01.2024)

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