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Show Review: John 5 and The Haxans at Jergels in Pittsburgh

Photos and Review by Jeff Lasich

The end of April is halfway to Halloween.  It was only fitting that a few days later John 5 and The Hexane brought their spooky asses to Pittsburgh to play a near sold out show at Jergel’s.

The Haxans started the night off.  The band consists of Ash Costello on vocals and Matt Montgomery on guitar.  Matt is also known as Piggy D of Rob Zombie and Costello did vocals for New Years Day.  They have a new record coming out later this year.  A little goth, a little synth pop, and all catchy the duo from California made new fans this night.  They played a few songs off it, as well as songs from their first record, “Party Monsters”.  The Haxans are a fairly new side project band and I’m not sure how much touring the plan on doing however if they are near you they are definitely a band you don’t want to miss.

The other band for this night was legendary guitar player, John 5.  In case you haven’t heard of him, John 5 is also part of Rob Zombie’s band.  He was joined on stage by Ian Ross on bass and drumming by Alejandro Mercado.  I was a little apprehensive going into the show wondering how long a band with no vocals would hold my attention.  About 75 minutes later, I had my answer- for the entire set.  There is an  extensive stage set up highlighted by video screens on the amplifiers that played movie clips throughout the night.  There was also special appearances from robot that resembled John 5 and a Leatherface monster that tossed candy into the crowd.  John 5 is simply amazing on guitar.  He uses several techniques and plays flawlessly.  He would switch through several guitars, and even played the banjo briefly.   The song styles cover a lot of different genres.  I was especially impressed with “Howdy” and “Cactus Flower.”  Not my typical choice, as there was a country feel to them (or maybe Reverend Horton Heat) but I haven’t been able to get those two songs out of my head.  John 5 loves to play guitar.  It’s painfully obvious and infectious.  Near the end of the set, the band played a cover medley of several songs including “Thunderstruck,” “For Whom the Bells Tolls,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Walk” and “Thunderkiss 65.”  This tour is running through May in the US and picking back up in Canada starting July 6.

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