John 5 and The Creatures, Songbirds Guitar Museum, Chattanooga Tennessee

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Closing out the last night in the first leg of the It’s Alive tour, John 5 and the Creatures stopped by Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee this past Saturday night to sell out a show and burn the house down. They achieved both. 

Probably most well known for being Rob Zombie’s lead guitarist, John 5 and The Creatures, are out on tour promoting an album that was recorded on an impulse in Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, PA in April of last year. The song line up included songs from his solo career as well as some covers. The album was so good, and it went over so well with critics there was no reason for them not to go on tour to give fans a taste of the album in real time.

Using the phrase guitar virtuoso to describe John 5 is redundant but it is the best way to get the point across. He has accomplished a long running solo career along side working with music greats such as David Lee Roth, Meatloaf, K.D. Lang, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and many others.

He is the type of abnormality that you would get if Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen raised a love child together in out the country. If you are asking yourself why would they raise this child in the country, you have never heard John pick a banjo or play Western swing. Put it on your to do list. In fact, you should really just go see them play live.

I came to this show not knowing exactly what to expect from this tour but left with a new found respect and hunger to hear more. Not only did he bring his own unique traveling guitar museum to entertain us with but there was never a dull moment the entire show.

John opened the show with his frets in a frenzy. The Flight of Vulcan Kelly shredded eardrums and set the tone for the night. He went through the first 4 songs rocking heavy riffs but lightened things up with Jiffy Jam, which has a finger style that is more reminiscent of Chet Atkins style of playing.

Then we entered in to the Season of the Witch from his 2017 album of the same name. It sounds beastly, straight out of a horror flick, and can give you nightmares if you want them.

Every song he played left you wanting more and wondering how he was going to top the last. A moment that stood out to many in the crowd was John’s rendition of Metallica’s Enter Sandman. The crowd went insane at the moment they all knew what he was playing. The music moved many fans to the point they had to restrain themselves from playing their air guitars in public. However, they did not restrain themselves from singing loudly the entire song.

The show rolled on he blessed the crowd with calmness when he played Behind the Nut Love. Then promptly cranked the speed back up with Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers In Hell to knock off any dust that may have settled.  He finished the set by playing a searing pure rock medley that lasted nearly 10 minutes long. The crowd went nuts recognizing the different songs as he played them. He worked the crowd so well there was an impromptu mosh pit that erupted next to me. It could be possible that was the first mosh pit in a guitar museum. You all will have to let me know.

While he did not leave the stage, he did announce that the band didn’t have anything else to do, so they’d play us one more song. Our encore was the most blistering, melt your skin off version of Michael Jackson’s Beat It to date. If you don’t catch at least a little bit of an attitude listening to this, you are not alive.

He rounded out Beat it by calling 10 year old Clinton Mathias, one of the many children in attendance, from side stage to center stage and placed his guitar around his neck. With his face painted like John 5 and wearing a Rob Zombie T-Shirt, Clinton picked at John 5’s guitar with surprise and excitement. The crowd raised their arms and praised a new rock star being born but most of them wished it was them up there. I am sure it will be the highlight of his childhood.

John then held his guitar over the crowd and made a little music with anyone who could reach the strings. He thanked everyone again before leaving the stage.

If you enjoy rock instrumentals with surprise, flare, and grit; John 5 and the Creatures are right up your alley. John is a true showman who engages the crowd and leaves you wanting more. Check out the next leg of their tour which kicks back into gear in March 29th in San Antonio, Texas.

1. The Flight of Vulcan Kelly
2.Here’s To The Crazy Ones
3. This Is My Rifle
4.Making Monsters
5.Jiffy Jam
6.Season Of The Witch
7.Enter Sandman
8. Portrait Of Sidney Sloan
9. Triple D
10. Black Grass Plague
11. Behind The Nut Love
12. Six Hundred Sixty Pickers In Hell
13. Guitars, Tits, And Monsters
14 . Medley
15. Michael Jackson’s Beat It

Medley:
Hot for Teacher
Ain’t Talking About Love
Two Minutes to Midnight
Cat Scratch Fever
Seek and Destroy
Man in the Box
Thunderkiss ’65
South of Heaven
I Was Made for Loving You
Burn
Roxanne
Limelight
Kashmir
Beautiful People
Killing in the Name