Guitar extraordinaire John 5 released his first live album It’s Alive on January 25th, 2018. He is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie and was also a longtime guitarist for Marilyn Manson. When he’s not touring with Rob Zombie, John 5 focuses on his solo albums. He has released eight solo albums with the most recent one being Season of the Witch. All of John 5‘s albums are instrumental and have no vocals so he lets his guitar work do all the talking. With the release of his live album, John 5 was once again ready to set out on the road in support of his most recent releases. On this day, John 5 made a stop in Ventura, California at the Discovery bowling alley. Ventura County made him proud as the venue was packed even on a Wednesday night.
John 5 had the stage setup with a screen showing classic horror/monster movie segments playing backwards and blow up carnival entrances. John 5‘s bandmates made their way to the stage with John 5 being the last one to come out and immediately started the show with Flight of the Vulcan Kelly from his 2014 album, Careful With That Axe. John 5 would immediately show his musicianship by swiftly and flawlessly playing his guitar exactly to the album. The first stage prop you notice is how he has a mouth piece that blinks and changes colors. After the second song, he would toss the mouth piece into the audience for a lucky fan to have. The second song played was Here’s to the Crazy Ones from his most recent album, Season of the Witch. Watching John 5 play his guitar is a thing of beauty that can best be described as something you have to go and see for yourself. The third song played was one of his more popular songs, This Is My Rifle. Every song John 5 plays sounds different so you never know what he will bring out next and is always a pleasant surprise. At one point, John 5 wore one of his own masks of his face paint while performing. A man dressed as an evil clown came up behind him and ripped the mask off John 5‘s face only to reveal a second mask in the form of flesh looking as if John 5‘s face had been ripped off. Another one of his props was when a man dressed as a little girl came up to John 5 and handed him a doll. John 5 used this to his advantage and ended up using the doll as a guitar pick to play his guitar. John 5 would go on to entertain his audience by playing songs from his recent album releases which included a cover of Enter Sandman by Metallica, Hell Haw I.G.R., Season of the Witch, and Portrait of Sydney Sloan. One of the more fun songs played live was The Black Grass Plague. In this song, for the solos, John 5 brings out a miniature Fender guitar which brought great laughs and entertainment to the audience. The second instrument for the solo was a banjo and it drove the fans wild as they cheered. John 5 made note that there would be special guests for this show as some of the stops on his tour had different guests. The first guest to come out was Sebastian Bach most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Skid Row. They performed covers of Parasite (KISS) and Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue). John 5 would reveal another special unannounced guest and it turned out to be Stephen Pearcy most famously known for being the singer for 80’s glam metal band, Ratt. John 5 showed how excited he was to have two influential musicians share the stage with him as he smiled throughout their cover of Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (Van Halen). John 5 would close out the show by performing a medley of covers of classic rock and heavy metal songs. To go with the medley, John 5 brought out a guitar that shot out lasers and even asked for the lights to be turned off to show the full effect. John 5 finished the show and the crowd cheered for him as he left the stage.