Concert Review: JOHN 5 and the Creatures. – With opening performances from Latency, As Thick As Thieves, (Sic)monic, and Doll Skin.

 Teri Wright/Eyes Of Jade Media/Staff Writer BANGS! Magazine

Venue: Club Red, Mesa, AZ. Date: 03/20/2017.

Opening for John 5 was Latency, They started out with “They Ain’t Getting Mine” progressing into one of my favorites from them “Maid Metal Maryann.”  Lead vocalist Michael Reck bellowed out those notes as he always does tossing his hair around, all while  Chris Cornell on bass having fun strumming and rocking out when he’s on stage. Jeremy Dasher, on guitar, shredded and ripped on his 2016 Gibson Flying V and just amazed the audience with his talent. Phil Hernandez on Drums attacked and commanded the beat to carry on for the set.  

This band shows their heart and passion when they are on stage while reminding everyone that no matter what age, Music lives within all of us. This was the start to get the blood flowing and taste buds salivating, All while eagerly anticipating part 2 that was coming up while set change occurred. 

The set change completed and one of my favorite top local bands of all time turned the lights down, making everyone wait in anticipation. Coming to the front of the stage and leaning into the crowd to get them amped was Nate Butcher (Lead Vocalist) starting the entire line up with “Take You Down,” mixing it up with “Appetite for Blood,” “Got Me Bad” which this earworm will get stuck in your head and you’ll be hitting repeat several times. 

Ryan Mabee on Drums has a great time with his many faces he makes and exudes passion for the stage behind his kit. Zachary Banks on Guitar, Kenny Barton on Guitar and Ryan Robles on Bass rocked those beats out and keeping rhythm. The clarity of Nate’s vocals, and how he engages with the crowd it emanates and oozes a bit of sexiness to it.  I can’t get enough of this band and how well they all work together. 

The production, sound quality, everything is just one solid piece and if you want to see a band that will rock your metal core heart out, these guys are ones to watch for.  I really believe this band has the entire package and potential in becoming one of the top rock bands in AZ and signed with a top recording label. 

Clearly, you can hear tones ranging from the likes of Otherwise, Escape the Fate, Adelitas Way all while keeping their originality they formed together in 2012 This is a 5 piece force to be reckoned with and of course winning  2nd place in 98 KUPD’s Playdio’s contest in 2016 How can you deny them?  As Thick As Thieves has no ceiling when it comes to their future. This is a MUST SEE band! 

About a 15-minute set change occurred and then it was GAME ON. (Sic)Monic brought it to the stage, with Zack R. Sewells double bass set into a chomping attack mode and, taking it to another level with Billy Zane Muna on Vocals, and Ray Goodwin tearing it up with his edginess- you could see those magical fingers fly on his Jackson Demolition V guitar!  

(Sic)Monic started out with their featured song “Feed my Psychosis” rolling into “Chapter 3”,  In the background is Zach Kasmer, and David Digillo were ripping it out as well. Being one of AZ’s top featured bands it’s hard to compete with the talent and expertise of this group that has reigned for over a decade in the Southwest local scene. 

Undeniable lyrics laced with real life experiences all while engaging you, making your taste buds salivate for those twisting melodic tones making you crave more of their uniqueness.  Zack R. Sewell had his spotlight doing a drum solo, showing off the talent he possesses like no other. As Ray Goodwin joined in with his Fender electric fiddle to captivate everyone with their new piece “WE THE PEOPLE” as this was an instrumental performance only. This classical piece with a flair of rock kept everyone locked in on Ray’s fingers playing the fiddle so effortlessly, Zack commanding his set is just exquisite when you look at it from the eyes of a musician who listens to every beat, melody, timing, cymbal clash. You tune into everything which makes music up as a whole. I never expect anything less from this band and every time I have seen them they have hypnotized their fans and keep drawing more of them in to become (Sic)Monican’s.

How do you describe (Sic)Monic as a whole? You don’t.  The diverseness, enthralling, harmonizing, edginess, hard-hitting, making you come back for more is how you describe them. Being an award-winning band, you can’t get much better than this. 

Are you hungry yet? I know I was with this buffet of a line up so far, my intangible bloodthirsty metal quest was just starting to be satisfied when DOLL SKIN came out to the stage and made my jaw hit the floor.  This was my first time experiencing this all girl line up and they didn’t disappoint. 

Watching how everyone in the house gravitated towards the stage to get an earful on this young group. First off you notice this quartet’s stage presence leading into their first song on their list “Roadkilla”, which had this audience throwing their horns and fists in the air as they fixated on these girls talent. 

Swinging into their ALANIS MORISSETTE cover “UNINVITED”, it brought something to the table that rarely is heard. Watching Guitarist Alex Snowden rip out those cords I could only think to myself, I think the boy’s need to step up their A game as these girls just brought it. My mind raced watching how these girl’s performed. 

Meghan Herring on drums made me see a young Roxy Petrucci from Vixen behind that kit and all I could do was fixate on how Meghan power housed it. Nichole Rich on bass was that spot for a sweet tooth as she could strum out with the best of them. Girl Power at its finest and I can only imagine what their future has for them. Ending out the night before JOHN 5 was their final song for the evening as openers were “Furious Fixation” – Fun, Refreshing, Tantalizing, Taste Bud Teasing Sensation of a band that’s going to make you keep coming back for more like an addiction to candy. 

Alright, my metal rock hard fans, this is it – The ONE, the ONLY – JOHN 5! And the Creatures. 

I turned around to see the house packed. Every single set of eyes were waiting and watching for the man himself. At this point, we wanted dessert after a full course like we had tonight. 

JOHN 5 took the stage in his notorious Vampirella makeup. His solo act is just one that is mind grabbing, blows you away. With Ian Ross on Bass as John’s sideman, along with his longtime friend Rodger Carter on drums. John 5’s resume ranges from Lita Ford’s guitarist to Marilyn Manson’s to  Rob Zombie’s recent guitarist. Exploring out on his own as a solo act has proven to be fruitful for John 5 and the Creatures.  

There isn't any instrument this man can’t play or put his hand on and command. 

John 5 has a soft spot for kids and there was a young man sitting on the speaker with his face painted, John 5 came over and had him up on stage letting him strum on his guitar and get the crowd going. Talk about an exciting moment for this young metal-head. That precise moment you can see John 5’s passion oozing through his fingers that seem to just magically move effortlessly among the strings of his many choices of guitars and banjo. 

One can only sit there in awe and feel your heartbeat through the pitches and chords he would hit. Playing riffs ranging from Van Halen’s “Panama” to The Police “Roxanne” all the way through melodies from Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and his own original work. 

Dessert was tasty watching JOHN 5 with his creäture show of Mr. Pumpkin, Crazy Clown acts. Ending the night out with his mind-boggling, crowd cheering, Here, Have some whipped cream with a cherry on top performance.  John 5 gave us a night to remember and walking away wiping our mouths off with a grin from ear to ear. 

John 5 and the Creatures

Doll Skin


As Thick As Thieves