John 5In what has become an annual event for Grosse Pointe native John Lowery, better known as John 5, he and his trio The Creatures played to a packed Token Lounge this past Friday November 2. Supporting their latest release Invasion, the band tore through sixteen songs plus a lengthy medley of classic rock riffs featuring many of the guitarists John 5 idolized growing up. John 5’s solo albums and tours have been an opportunity for the Rob Zombie guitarist to showcase his versatility and some of the styles that inspired him. One of his biggest influences growing up believe it or not was Roy Clark, and he displayed some of that country style picking in the songs Hell Haw I.G.R., Howdy and Cactus Flower. There were also some funk grooves in songs like Zoinks and Mando Jam but the one thing that remained steady was John’s wizardry on the guitar. It didn’t matter what style he played, it only mattered that he’s amazing at whatever he plays. Attending the show with me was my buddy and avid concert goer Wayne Creech of South Lyon Michigan. Here’s what he had to say about the show.

“Seeing John 5 and the Creatures last night at the Token Lounge in Westland was a post-Halloween treat I won’t soon forget.  A packed house got to enjoy John 5 exhibiting his guitar virtuosity that ranks right up there with Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai but with that signature heavy metal prowess his fans (myself included) have come to love from his Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie work. Several times during the show I caught myself thinking “when musicians are this good, you don’t need a singer” (nothing against singers) and I don’t think anyone there would argue.  I was completely unfamiliar with “Mr. 5’s” solo work but it didn’t matter, I was locked on and enjoyed every minute.  An amazing 15 min montage of well-known songs from various artists was a highlight for me not because from a familiarity aspect but because he demonstrated he can play anything as good as it was ever played by some of music’s best-known heavyweights…. maybe better.  It’s refreshing seeing a master musician at work.  Having been to hundreds of concerts over 4 decades it’s getting harder to say it but I’ll say it…. that show impressed me.  I’m already looking forward to catching him next time he’s in town.”

Opening the show were southern hard rock band Reverend Jack from Madisonville KY and East Troy Wisconsin blues-rock guitarist Jared James Nichols. Both bands were well received by those in attendance, particularly Nichols, a gifted and award-winning guitarist who plays a late 60’s, early 70’s classic style reminiscent of Johnny Winter and Leslie West.

Photos by Dan Boshart

Set List

  • Crank It
  • This is My Rifle
  • Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers in Hell, CA
  • Here’s to the Crazy Ones
  • Hell Haw I.G.R.
  • Howdy
  • Season of the Witch
  • RV Attack
  • First Victim
  • The Black Grass Plague
  • Cactus Flower
  • Zoinks
  • Mando Jam
  • I Am John 5
  • Midnight Mass
  • Medley
  • I Want It All


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