John 5 “It’s Alive” Tour – The Ritz April 12, 2018


John 5 has been touring to promote his double live album “It’s Alive!”. As the tour comes close to the end he makes a stop at The Ritz in San Jose, Ca. This was the same location I was fortunate enough to capture the photograph used for the inner sleeve of John 5 album last time he played this locale.

The place has great sound and good lighting so it was the perfect chance to hear and see John 5 perform once again. I had the chance to visit with John 5 before the show and he was in a great mood (as always) and was looking forward to the show. I thanked him for choosing my photograph for the album and for using it also as one of the tour shirts. He stated that it was he who should thank me. He also wrote a quick thank you on the “It’s Alive!” album cover. If you haven’t picked up the cd or album already, it is one of the best sounding live albums.


I watched John 5, bassist Ian Ross, and drummer Logan Nix run through some songs during soundcheck and if the show was going to sound anything close to that, it would be a great night of music. The great part about seeing John 5 & the Creatures perform is that the musicianship is so in synch throughout all the intricate and dynamic portions of the written music. It truly sounds the same live and it does on the studio recordings. Plus live you get a killer live show.

This time around John 5 brought a haunted blow up fun house that covered both sides of the stage, new twisted characters that came out as part of the show, as well as video monitors that covered the front of the amplifiers that played different horror movie snippets all night. You have to enjoy the theatrics that are part of this show because not only is it entertaining but it fits the show. John 5 gets his face torn off to reveal a skeleton face in all its carnage. The face itself had the look and feel that was reminiscent of Vincent Price in the 1971 movie Dr. Phibes, which I thought was cool.

Songs for the evening were chosen from John 5’s catalog of solo albums where you would hear total shredding, country, and even pop. As far as the Creatures, John 5’s choice of hitting the road with Ian Ross & Logan Nix is the right counterbalance to John 5’s playing because their mastering of their instruments is easily heard.


Although John 5 played for quite some time, the show went fast. I guess that can be credited to the energy and entertainment factor. You can tell that John 5 loves playing and performing. With John 5 on long worldwide tours with Rob Zombie, you would think that his down time would be to step away from music and do other things. Nope, he loves being onstage sharing his talent night after night.


One of the best parts of the show is his medley of songs he runs through at the end of his set.  Shredding through portions of Van Halen, Metallica, Alice in Chains, Rob Zombie, Kiss, The Police, Tom Petty, Led Zepplin, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, and so many more. John 5 & the Creatures end the night with Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. You would think that such a pop song wouldn’t go over well but is has become a fan favorite and played at every show.


Show Setlist

For more photos of John 5, check out our Photo Gallery HERE



To Get The 2018 John 5 Tour Shirt with my photograph, The “It’s Alive” Double Live Album, and many other items. Visit the John 5 Store HERE 

About The Author

I've been a part of music industry as a concert photographer for over thirty years. At an early age I hit the road shooting for Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, Quiet Riot, Ted Nugent, Twisted Sister, just to name a few. My love for music has never wavered. I started Mayhem Music Magazine as an outlet to share both established and new artists with others who truly love music.

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