Live Review

John 5 Live Show Review

March 10, 2016
Southgate House Revival
Newport, KY

Photos and Review by ~James Urban

This being my first trip to the Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY, I found it to be an intimate venue for an up-close and personal show. A local Cincinnati band, Static Tension, opened the night with a solid set of their progressive grunge.

The red and blue police lights on stage began to spin as drummer Rodger Carter and bassist Ian Ross took the stage laying down the rhythm and beats as a guitar began to wail from a hidden John 5. He came around the end of the stage playing his green lava lamp guitar as he passed his likeness on a large stage banner to the cheers of the crowd. After a brief guitar intro John switched guitars to his trusty telecaster and began to put on a show of intricate fingering accompanied by some magician style speed with his pick, showing off his mass skills.

In this smaller venue, John made you feel like you were in his basement or garage just hanging out as he plays his guitar. Being the first all instrumental show I have seen live, it did not feel like anything was missing as John 5 sang to us with his guitar. A small break after a few songs and John disappears behind his banner and in a few minutes he appears with a cowboy hat and his back to the crowd. As he reaches the middle of the stage he turned to reveal a guitar lit by LED’s and a plastic white mask on his face. Lifting the front of his guitar to illuminate the creepy mask, he begins to play faster matching the speed of the intense flashing lights.

Working his guitar and fans into a frenzy he begins to play faster and more complex with each note. After another short break he came to the stage as himself and amazed us with an intricately beautiful song “El Cucuy” showing again the skill and sheer gift of music that John has amassed since he picked up his guitar at the age of 7. So far this year John 5 and the Creatures have released 3 songs on the first of every month, the next to be on April 1st. January gave us “Black Grass Plague” featuring John playing his guitar, a mandolin and a banjo, showing his varied talent and love for bluegrass. February gave us “Behind the nut love” which features John in an open tuning playing it all behind the nut of the guitar by the tuning keys.

March brought us “Making Monsters” which plays to his love for the classic Universal Monsters, Frankenstein, Dracula and his personal favorite, Creature from the Black Lagoon. These new songs filled the playlist showcasing the bands versatility accompanied by older songs like “Jiffy Jam” a Jerry Reed cover. John and the band finished the incredible night of music with various parts from some of the most famous songs from over the years of Rock and Roll. The riffs that John played were from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young and many more. Whether he is playing on his own with the Creatures or on stage with Rob Zombie, it is always amazing to see and hear the one and only John 5 do his thing on stage and just amaze us all. If you can catch either show in your area do yourself a favor and get to the show.


Flight of the Vulcan Kelly
This Is My Rifle
El Cucuy Interlude
El Cucuy
Jiffy Jam (Jerry Reed cover)
Portrait of Sidney Sloan
Guitar Solo
Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers in Hell Ca
Behind the Nut Love
Mad Monster Party
Black Grass Plague
Beat It (Michael Jackson cover)
(Covers Medley)

Favorite 'FMR' Moments:

Too many to mention, but “Behind the Nut Love” is one of my new favorite songs! Seeing John 5 play his guitar like other people breath! He is amazing! \m/ \m/

John 5 and the Creatures is:

John 5 – Guitar
Ian Ross – Bass
Rodger Carter – Drums

Opening Act(s):

Static Tension

For More Information:

Twitter @john5guitarist

Checkout The New Video 'Making Monsters'

~Checkout Our John5 Interview Here

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