A perfect night in Sellersville was the setting for a spooky May rock show.

Guitar madman John 5 was in town on his ‘Sinner’ tour and he brought The Haxans with him for a sold out party.

As you recall, he recorded his live album ‘It’s Alive’ here a few years ago, and I was lucky enough to see/cover his subsequent visit (read that review HERE).

First things first: openers The Haxans were new to me, but are made up of some familiar faces.  Singer Ash Costello is in New Years Day while guitarist Piggy D is Rob Zombie’s bass player (with John 5 as Mr. Zombie’s axeman of choice).  In reality, this tour package makes a lot of senes.  

The Haxans keep it spooky and they also travel light!  It’s just the two of them, playing to a backing track.  A guitar (or two), an amp and attitude is all they need.  The simplest way to describe the sound is  that it should be the soundtrack to a Spirit Halloween store in a California desert.  They were engaging with the crowd and kept the energy level up.  The Haxans put out ‘Party Monsters’ a few years ago and it might just warrant a listen.

Then it was time for John 5 and his band, The Creatures, to take the stage.  Not being around Halloween-time, the stage setup was a little bit stripped down compared to his previous time in Sellersville.  That said, there were still screens sharing horrors and schlock (and sweet dance moves!) to supplement the evening.  

Most of the material was culled from his two most recent full-lenghts ‘Sinner’ and ‘Invasion’.  As they were strong releases and there a lot of variety in genres covered, I doubt anyone can complain about that.  A few mini guitars were employed, one seizure-inducing guitar came out and a parade of Telecasters made themselves at home on the stage.  Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ (found on ‘Sinner’) was a nice treat.

Toward the end, the band did something that they said they only did one other time on the tour and went through “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue.  This required audience participation, which built slowly but eventually got there.

The highlight for me at a John 5 show is always the medley at the end.  There’s some Kiss, Van Halen, Rob Zombie and AC/DC, but this time, there was some Foo Fighters, Rage Against The Machine, ZZ Top, Europe, Metallica, and Pantera.

The evening ended with candy being thrown out to the crowd to help send things off on a sweet note.  (Whether it’s wise to eat candy thrown at you by a masked man is a question for another time).  

Folks, it’s been a long time since there has been a show review on this site.  The last few years have been weird.  Hopefully there can be some sense of normalcy now, and you can expect content of some sort a little more regularly.

Thanks for your patience and for sticking with us here at NeoStar.

Words by: JJ Ellis
Photos by: Henry Chung