John 5 Mesmerizes The Palace
Stellar performance by John 5 and The Creatures
Last Friday night I drove down to Stafford Springs, CT to see John 5 and The Creatures perform at The Palace Theater, about a 40-minute drive from home. My expectations were high for this show. I wanted to experience firsthand what Rob Zombie’s axe master had to offer on his own. Let me tell you: the performance was beyond good; it was spectacular. It was everything that I expected, plus so much more. John 5 and his band of Creatures took us on an extraordinary musical journey that spanned various genres, not just heavy metal. More on that later.
Three local bands were responsible for warming up the venue for John 5. One of them was a very aggressive, instrumental progressive metal two-piece, called The Aberration, who drove all the way from Chester, VT to rock the place. Also present were hard rockers Saviour from Long Island, NY; and local heroes Composing The Apocalypse from Windsor, CT.
John 5’s solo work is a fantastic tribute to the guitar, and a showcase of his brilliance behind the axe and as a composer/songwriter. That pretty much sums up Friday night’s intimate show at the Palace: a tribute to music and to brilliant and inspiring guitar playing. The passion for playing the guitar just exuded out of him naturally and effortlessly. Even behind the black and white makeup he could not mask the joy he was feeling while playing. The crowd connected with that passion wholeheartedly. No vocals required. No vocals needed. His fingers did all the “singing,” and it was beautiful. One thing that was prominently present throughout the show was the Fender Telecaster guitar. He owns and plays some of the most gorgeous custom Telecasters that I have ever seen, especially a clear one filled with a viscous liquid that he moves around to show its various color mixtures, or the gorgeous LED Telecaster that he used to perform “Sin.”
The rest of the band, The Creatures, are two amazing musicians in their own right. Drummer Rodger Carter is an accomplished musician with an impressive collaboration list under his belt, including Lita Ford and Gene Simmons. Bassist Ian Ross is a young musician who just plain killed it on bass!
Some of the highlights of the show for me were the Spanish guitar riffs from “El Cucuy,” the contrast of the bluegrass song “Jiffy Jam” and, of course, the brilliant instrumental cover of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” They also performed a medley of covers which paid tribute to rock icons Metallica, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Judas Priest, Ozzy, AC-DC, and, of course, Marilyn Manson and Zombie. I almost forgot: “The Munsters” theme song! I don’t know if many people got that song, but I definitely saw a few smiles here and there. The guitar solo mid way through the set was simply show-stopping. Literally, everyone was mesmerized by the virtuosity behind every bar, every riff, every stroke, every tap. Towards the end of the show, he pulled from the crowd a young boy onstage and strapped his guitar over his shoulder, to the approval and applause of the crowd. That was a cool moment!
John 5 and The Creatures was one of those shows that you wish would never end. If they pull into or near your city, do yourselves a favor and join them in this wonderful journey through amazing music. Then come here and tell us all about it!
Enjoy the photos!
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