Traverse City, Michigan – Just because October has come and gone, doesn’t mean that the Halloween spirit left. On November 2 , Detroit native John 5 kept that spirit alive with a creepy and spooky show at Streeters Ground Zero Showroom, with special guests Wednesday 13 and Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow. This was a show of screaming guitars and growling vocals for sure. But it was also a show of wonder and amazement.
The evening didn’t begin with an opening band like the usual rock shows that we are all used to. Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow is a Rock-N-Roll circus stunt show who performs dangerous, death defying and stomach churning acts. MC, Bryce “The Govna” Graves amazes the crowd as he eats fire without torching his lush beard and braided locks. The crowd draws nearer as he drives a 5-inch drill into the center of his skull. But not before a condom is flossed through his nose and mouth. Loud gasps come from the crowd as “half-man” Short E. Dangerously jumps down from the top of a ladder onto flaming, broken shards of glass. With his entirely tattooed body, Lizardman pierces his face with a giant corkscrew. Before swallowing a sword, Lizardman assures the audience that the sword is not sharp at all and if he were to swallow a sharp sword he would surely die. But with a dull sword, he has a lesser chance of death. Safety first! At only 3 feet tall, Nik Sin captivates the audience with his Inverted Straitjacket Escape as well as ingesting razor blades! Eric Ross keeps everyone’s attention by piercing multiple parts of his body with steel skewers. You have to see it to believe it!
Through the thick, lingering fog, Wednesday 13 takes the stage with growling vocals and a demonizing glare. The theatrics are dark and spooky with different props and costume changes that include a bloody axe, giant pair of scissors, and a creepy, two-faced mask that made it hard to tell which direction he is going. Their set is full of pounding drums and raunchy guitars to such tunes as Gimme Gimme Bloodshed and Die My Bride. Closing out their set, the crowd chants along to I Love To Say Fuck as Wednesday 13 taunts them with a big middle-finger umbrella.
The stage is reset with jack-o-lanterns, witches, and an inflatable Spookhouse entrance. The ambiance of Halloween with purple and orange lights set the mood as The Creatures, Ian Ross on bass and Logan Nix on drums begin to pound away. The anticipation builds as the crowd grows more excited, screaming for John 5. Emerging from the Spookhouse, John 5 rips out some crazy insane solos as the crowd goes nuts. His speakers are fronted by video screens that showed quick snippets of horror movies throughout the show. Now this is Halloween! John swaps out guitars every couple songs, including his free flowing, UV green glow filled Fender. The band rips into Metallica’s Enter Sandman with the audience providing vocals. Featuring classic riffs of multi genre from Tom Petty to Led Zepplin to Rage Against The Machine, Pantera, Ted Nugent, The Police, Rush, not to mention tuning into his time with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. The man is a guitar genius. Proving that he can play anything with strings, and in any musical style, including a banjo and mandolin. Rock music, metal music, blue-grass. You name it, he can play it. J5 humbly thanks the fans for his support, “I am just a guy who loves to play the guitar. ”