Its Valentine’s Day in Syracuse, NY. Couples are going out to dinner and celebrating. Love is in the cool, brisk air. John 5 & The Creatures, consisting of the insanely talented John 5 (Rob Zombie, formerly Marilyn Manson), Ian Ross (Bass) and the newest member Logan Nix (drums) made a stop at the Lost Horizon in Syracuse Wednesday night. The band is currently on tour in support of their newest release It’s Alive.
Kicking off the show was Auburn’s fast-rising heavy metal band, Level VII. One thing is for certain this group is no stranger to the Central New York music scene. They have played numerous regional festivals and shows since their formation. The band is classified as a metal group but they play an interesting mix of music types. Lead singer Ryan Coughlin’s vocal range ranks up there with Burton C Bell of Fear Factory, especially on their newest track “Still Searching.” Kevin Brennan and Eric Marullo’s guitar skills combined with John Kelly’s hard-hitting bass sound and John Westmiller’s exquisite drumming make this group a force to be reckoned with. If you get the chance, I would recommend checking them out.
John 5 and the Creature’s stage set up is worth taking a moment to describe. It is decorated like a cartoon version of a horror movie set complete with inflatable ghouls, skeletons and pumpkins. There are two movie screens built right into the band’s cabinets at each end of the stage. Very macabre indeed!
The fans are excited for the main act. Ian Ross and Logan Nix creep out onto the stage while the “Johnny Guitar” Peggy Lee intro song softly plays. The evening’s maestro, John 5, lurks out from behind one of the stage decorations playing the first song of the night, “Flight of the Vulcan Kelly.” In between songs such as “This Is My Rifle” and “Making Monsters” dressed up ghouls popped onto the stage tossing glow sticks and other treats out to the audience helping to get them pumped up. An unexpected surprise included the band playing a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The audience went nuts screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs.
John 5 took a little break in the action to share with the crowd that he “loves all things weird and had seen plenty of weird things including a lady in the front who had flashed him and a baby in ear muffs in attendance.” He bent down and jokingly asked the mother, “did we make sex at some point? Because every time someone shows up with a baby, I get a little nervous. No? O.K. good. Oh, look the baby’s sleeping. What can we do to entertain you little baby? I know… a medley!” The band launched into a medley that included Slayer’s “South of Heaven,” Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and Pantera’s “Walk.”
The band ended the evening with their incredible version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” I can’t speak highly enough about their live performances. They take the audience through a one of a kind visual and musical journey. If you have not had the chance to see them in action, you should. Trust me, you won’t regret it.