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An evening with John 5 and the Creatures at the Oriental Theater in Denver, CO 2-27-2024

It was a cold wind chilled night when I journeyed to the Oriental Theater for what I knew was going to be a great show. To say I wasn’t disappointed would be the understatement of the year.

Starting the night off was Marty Friedman, another amazing guitarist who had spent ten years with Megadeth, then going solo. 

Something that is rarely seen and usually happens before a band takes the stage, Marty and his band members came out on stage to the cheers from the crowd. Then they gathered together in front of the drummer for their quiet talk about the show they are about to play. Something along those lines, you can’t hear them. They turned back to the crowd and started their set with, “Stigmata Addiction” setting the course for an amazing evening of sight and sound.

The energy that poured from the stage was returned by the audience and the interactions from the stage to the crowd and back was so much fun to watch. Marty worked his magic on the guitar wowing the crowd. With a blend of hard rock, heavy metal, Marty adds traditional Japanese music that he blends together in his shows. Marty’s stage presence and the passion he pours into his playing style, with his long curly hair flowing in every direction and encouraging the crowd to sing and clap their hands, energizes the crowd even more.

Marty finished their set with, “Kaze Ga Fuiteiru” and then the group stood together waving and thanking the crowd who were cheering in appreciation for a great show.

Marty Friedman - lead guitar 

Naoki Morioka - guitar

Wakazaemon - bass

Chargeeeeee - drums

Set list:

Stigmata Addiction

Devil Take Tomorrow

Rock City

Amagigoe @Cover

Tornado of Souls 


Dragon Mistress

Band Intro

Guest Jam with audience member

Kaze Ga Fuiteiru

With a quick turn around by a great stage crew it was time for John 5.

I was having the pleasure of seeing John 5 for the fifth time. First time many years ago with Marilyn Manson, years later with Rob Zombie, and this night would be the third solo tour I have covered. I don’t think there is a style/genre of music that John does not play. He always has some surprises for his fans. Like the first time I covered one of his solo tours. He started that night with a hard charging metal set. He took a moment to change guitars and walk back to the front of the stage and broke into a Spanish guitar and the jaws of the crowd hit the floor.

John walked out on stage in his full length white outfit with the big red 5 circled in a red ring and his fans let out a roaring welcome. John started his set with, “Season of the Witch” and an electrifying 90 minute set began. Throughout the course of the evening, John would switch out guitars, turn to his fans and mesmerize them with his amazing skills as a guitarist. Slow, fast, soft, or hard, watching his fingers dance can be hypnotizing.

He changed guitars to one that lights up and with a black scarf covering his head, and continued to wow his fans. And like all shows these days, the cell phones were capturing as much as they could. And we can’t forget the  giant bobblehead replicating John’s head worn by a stagehand who came out on the stage and interacted with the crowd. (see photo gallery) The evening came to a close with the song, “Land of Misfit Toys” and as John took his bows, the crowd let out a thank you that was deafening. As I mentioned, this was my 5th time seeing John 5 and two takeaways are always the same for me, each show he changes up his music and I will never get tired of watching his amazing skills with the guitar. 

John 5 - guitars

Alejandro Mercado - drums


Season of the Witch 

Que Pasa 

Six Hundred and Sixty Six Pickers in Hell, CA


Crank It - Living With Ghosts 

Bass Jam

Strung Out

Cactus Flower 

I Am John 5 

How High the Moon 

Mando Jam

Georgia (on My Mind) 

The Black Grass Plague 


Crazy Little Thing Called Love @Cover

Hot for Teacher @Cover

Live Wire / Too Fast for Love / Shout at the Devil / Looks That Kill / Home Sweet Home / Wild Side / Girls Girls Girls / Same Ol' Situation / Dr. Feelgood / Kickstart My Heart 

The Star-Spangled Banner @Cover

Walk / Heartbreaker / Thunder Kiss '65 / Highway to Hell 

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) @Cover

The Ghost

Land of Misfit Toys 


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