Guitar maestro John 5 plays to a sold out crowd at a small venue in the college town of South Bend, Indiana.

Guitarist, John 5, regaled a small sold out crowd in Northern Indiana. Most noted for his years playing with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, John 5 once again sets out on his own with his back up ensemble, The Creatures, for what proved to be a fun and quirky instrumental show.

Having released several albums in the past, the audience was well prepared for what to expect with only a few rumblings of people griping about no singing. John 5 is known for the way he connects with his audience and the sheer spectacle of the show. He likes to wear masks over a spooky paint job and he sets the stage with macabre visuals straight out of House of a 1000 Corpses. The lights are a nice touch. Reds, blues and purples light up stage backdrops almost create a 3D effect. Playing at Cheers and making the small stage work with their stage show must have been a feat and a half, but they nailed it and the sound was on point.

In between original arrangements, John 5 gave some standard action with “Dueling Banjos,” “Star Spangled Banner,” and “The Munsters Theme.”

There was no clear show concept other than the horror visuals; the show itself seemed to be all over the place in form and style. Instead, this show was about John 5 having a good time and interacting with his fans. He changed masks, threw picks and merch to into the audience, and proved himself a gracious performer. Everyone had a brilliant time and John 5 is perfectly appreciative and grateful with nothing but smiles and props for his audience.

Local rockers, Dark Trilogy, have within their midst a local guitar phenom by the name of Joe Feingold. With his skill and experience, it is a wonder he is not already famous. Feingold has played with multiple other bands and it’s not uncommon to see him throwing a benefit for some local cause. He always has a kind word for everyone and some would say is the hardest working musician in the area.

As an opener for John 5, Dark Trilogy seemed a perfect fit given the straightforward guitar god nature of the gig. Since 2009, Dark Trilogy has been entertaining the South Bend area playing mostly covers of hard rock, classic rock, and blues. However, the band is known for updating the songs and making them their own. With a guitar-centric sound, their rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain” is well known in the local area.

Opening the evening were Poisoned by Ares, four local lads who’ve been gaining momentum in the local rock and metal scene.  Although they appeared to be off to a roaring start, the recent departure of their lead vocalist soon after this gig has them at a standstill for the moment. Jon Tudor on guitar, David Roberts on Bass, and Joe Stone on drums make a good songwriting team.  The band demonstrated their talent by playing an enthusiastic and tight show. When they find their perfect match and tighten up their machine with a new frontman, the sky’s the limit. Former vocalist Matt Waterman, with his high powered scream vocals, will no doubt land with another venture.

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John 5
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Dark Trilogy
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Poisoned by Ares
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About The Author

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Northeastern Indiana, Alex Savage is a Senior Photojournalist on staff who has been with us exclusively since the very beginning of Naional Rock Review. Specializing in rock and Scandinavian metal, she's known for her raw and moody style of music photography.

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