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JOHN 5, JARED JAMES NICHOLS In Anaheim, CA With Photos!

By Junkman, On-Air Personality
Monday, April 22, 2019 @ 12:34 AM

At The House Of Blues Anaheim 4-7-19

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All Photos By Junkman

It was a night of heavy guitar playing by two of the hottest acts in today’s rock scene. Although they play different styles, and have two different images, John 5 and Jared James Nichols share a common bond. The love and skills to keep fans such as myself in awe of their guitar playing techniques, as well as solid bass and drums to back them up. To pair them for a tour is a real treat, and in the case of John 5 anyway, more like “Trick or Treat.” I’ll get to that reference.

After a brief opening set from the young rock band DEAD GIRLS ACADEMY, the sold out “Parrish Room” at the Anaheim House of Blues was alive. Wisconsin native Jared James Nichols and his band - Dennis Holms on drums and Ronnie Elvis James on bass - gave the shot of adrenaline that brought everyone to the next level. Bringing a blues-based guitar led brand of rock that hit like a bolt of lightning, Nichols and company performed a 10 song set, which opened quite a few eyes. Nichols plays with a fierce intensity that brings to mind the late Stevie Ray Vaughan and a young Ted Nugent.

Songs like the opening number “Last Chance” and the uptempo “Baby, Can You Feel It” got the crowd involved. As the band drove the steady beat, Nichols was all over the stage, bending strings, and flashing explosive riffs on his signature Epiphone guitar, his long hair flailing all about his face. It wasn’t until he brought out an old Gibson guitar that he affectionately referred to as “Charlie” that he slowed down the pace just slightly. The song “Run”, from his Black Magic release, was a perfect spotlight for Nichols skills as a guitarist and singer.

Jared James Nichols and the band then closed out their set with a blistering version of the old MOUNTAIN hit “Mississippi Queen” that upped the intensity level yet another notch. Riff after riff came blazing out of his guitar and hands and he leaped off the stage onto the barrier to get even closer to the crowd at times. He is just an excellent performer with a great band. I am a huge fan of his, and every time I see him play that excitement seems to double.

Spooky, inflatable Halloween decorations adorned the stage as John 5 and his band, Ian Ross on bass and Logan Miles Nix on drums, started the intro to “Season of the Witch”, the title track of his 2017 release. Industrial beats, melding together with shredding guitar, this song set the pace for the following sixteen song set. The energy in the building took on a new level with each number.

John 5, sporting a Fender telecaster, as well as a white “lab coat” and monster makeup, is quite a sight to behold, as well as a monster (pun intended) guitarist. During the course of the show, I counted about 5 costume changes or additions to his already striking ensemble. Cranking out a variety of numbers from throughout his solo career, such as 2014’s “This Is My Rifle”, John 5 gave his fans an extended look into his material, which transcended not only shredding metal guitar, but also bits of country and dance music as well.

He also experimented with a banjo and a mandolin during “Hell Haw” and came out with an evil looking glow in the dark mask and guitar, which he played with a bow at one point. Clearly having fun with his audience, various costumed characters, such as a pig with a pitchfork arrived onstage to tease the sold out crowd and bait them into applause, all the while the smiling John 5 wailed away on his six string shocker. The fronts of both his and bassist Ross’s amps were fitted with video screens that played clips from classic horror movies throughout the show. It was all very entertaining, to say the least.

Another fun part of the show was a medley of classic metal and rock songs that featured bits of Michael Jackson's “Beat It” along with riffs from bands like RUSH, PANTERA, NIRVANA and VAN HALEN. At the end of it, a scary looking clown arrived onstage, reached under John 5’s legs and shot confetti into the audience. Everyone loved it, but none more than John 5 himself. His years of playing guitar for the likes of Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie have obviously brought out the showman in him.

John 5 paid plenty of attention to his audience and asked for help and got it with the chorus of “I Am John 5” in which he used a “talk box” tube to emphasize. As the audience went wild in their applause, the band seemed just as pleased to be there, no small feat when it comes to touring acts these days. I can attest to the wonderful, personable people both John 5 and Jared James Nichols are. Both bands spent extended time after the show, posing for pictures and autographs with everyone who approached them at the merchandise area.

You can see all three bands on tour this summer. John 5 will be touring once again with Rob Zombie. Jared James Nichols will be in Europe, and DEAD GIRLS ACADEMY will be all over the US. My thanks to the bands and those that made attending the show possible.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Junkman

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