John 5 & The Creatures at Reggies in Chicago, IL

John 5 and the Creatures are welcomed back to Reggies once again during their annual visit to the Chicago hotspot.

John 5 and the Creatures seem to be making an annual event out of visiting Reggies Rock Club in Chicago – something we are more than happy to see! Each time they come, the crowd gets bigger and bigger. This time around, the crowd was packed into the cozy, intimate show, which helped contribute to the truly electric atmosphere. 

If you’ve ever seen John 5 perform live, then you know exactly what to expect. This is an instrumental show which showcases his incredible mastery of the guitar and a portion of his guitar collection, surrounded by his love of all things horror. If you’ve never seen him perform live, then man are you in for a treat! If this isn’t your first rodeo, chances are, when you walk through the doors to one of his shows, you’re even more excited because you know what fantastic extravaganza is ahead of you. 

These shows are an absolute treat to watch and keep you hooked throughout. The 90-minute set flies by which is a shame, but you can’t help but feel exhilarated from beginning to end. Each song introduces something new, whether it’s an unusual guitar which has a florescent liquid floating around inside the body, or John donning a different mask, or a robotic John 5 who dances to “I am John 5” while pointing a laser gun at the audience. This is far from your usual show, that’s for sure!

There are a number of things you can guarantee at these shows. You will be blown away by the musicianship, not just with John 5 but also with The Creatures aka Ian Ross (bass) and Logan Nix (drums). The Chicago fans were also treated to a very special guest when Charlie Benante from Anthrax joined them on stage for an impromptu jamming session. 

You can also pretty much bank on a mash-up of covers towards the end of the set which always receives a rapturous reception. This time, the mash-up included White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65,” The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” Soundgarden’s “Spoonman,” and Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With The Devil.” One song snippet that always seems to garner the loudest cheers is his former bandmate Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People.”

This tour is in support of Invasion which was released back in July and Reggies was treated to a several songs from it, including “Midnight Mass,” “Cactus Flower,” and “Howdy.” Listening to just these songs alone gives you an example of the wide variety of styles of playing John 5 has mastered, often demonstrating several within one song. 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – nothing beats seeing a musician enjoying themselves when they are performing, rather than just going through the motions and cashing the checks. Throughout the show, John 5 could not keep the smile off his face, it was contagious. The energy was reciprocated both on and off stage. 

The unique skills he displays on the cornucopia of guitars will never cease to amaze. An entertaining and enthralling show throughout. This is an annual tradition we hope will carry on for years to come. It’s great to see familiar and new faces getting to enjoy the unique show. Long may it continue!

JOHN 5 & THE CREATURES
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REGGIES
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About Kirstine Walton 163 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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