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LIVE REVIEW: John 5 at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, IL on May 4, 2022

Review and Photos by Greg Hamil

John 5 and the Creatures made a stop at the Apollo Theater in Belvidere, IL during their Sinner Tour. For a Wednesday night, there was a decent crowd on hand for what would be a clinic in guitar playing.

As the lights came down, a crew member hit the stage in an oversized John 5 head to rile up the crowd before the band hit the stage. Bassist Ian Ross and drummer Alejandro Mercado take the stage and as the first notes sound, John 5 emerges from the shadows. From that point on, it is an in-your-face assault on the senses.

In those first moments, John 5 is wearing a mask and playing a clear guitar with purple liquid inside making it look very much like a lava lamp. As the second songs, he strips off the mask, only to reveal yet another mask underneath. While he is still playing the same guitar, he picks up a bow and proceeds to play the first section of the song with that. By the time he gets to the third song, he has stripped off the second mask to reveal his face painted like a skeleton.

From that point, John 5 plays his guitar in a variety of ways. One-handed, over his head, behind the back, laying on the stage, and more. All the while he never misses a note. Not going unnoticed, Ross and Mercado play flawlessly and interact with the crowd helping to keep the energy up for the entire show.

Whether you see John 5 as a solo performer or as part of Rob Zombie’s band, you won’t leave the show disappointed. John 5 is widely considered one of the better guitarists around. I can’t say that I disagree! This was a fantastic show from beginning to end!

SET LIST: First Victim – Season of the Witch – Que Pasa – Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers in Hell – Crank It (Living with Ghosts) – Zoinks – Hell Haw I.G.R. – Cactus Flower – Land of Misfit Toys – Guitar Solo – I Am John 5 – Howdy – Constant Sorrow – The Black Grass Plague – Crazy Little Thing Called Love

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