LIVE PHOTOS: John 5, The Haxans
By Greg Maki
Rams Head on Stage, in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, is such a strange place for a rock show. With the audience seated at tables in a small room, it feels more like a comedy club than a concert venue. The night’s opener, The Haxans, leaned into the unusual setting, with banter befitting a lounge act between their upbeat goth-pop-rock party songs.
The duo—Count D. aka Matt Montgomery aka Piggy D. from Rob Zombie’s band and Ash Costello from New Years Day—made this mid-May night feel like Halloween had come five months early and even got the crowd on their feet a couple times, playing songs from its 2017 album “Party Monsters” and a new record coming in October. The performance featured only Costello on vocals and Montgomery on vocals and guitar with backing tracks providing everything else, but that didn’t keep it from being vastly entertaining. The set also included covers of David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)” and “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles.
THE HAXANS SET LIST: “Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives,” “Lights Out,” “Young Blood,” “Slick Black Coffin,” “Black Cat Bone,” “All The Roses,” “Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps),” “Witchy Woman,” “Dirty Magic”
John 5 and his backing band, the Creatures, were the main event and, as always, put on an absolute clinic in guitar playing. With video screens playing clips from classic horror movies, there was, of course, a tasty smorgasbord of shredding, but it was balanced with bits of country and bluegrass. You’d be hard pressed to find a more versatile guitarist working today, and the performance was simply awe-inspiring. A medley of classic riffs—including “The Trooper,” “Thunderstruck,” “Symphony of Destruction,” “Walk” and many, many more—led into a full-blown cover of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” to close the show and bring the fans to their feet once more.
If you are a fan of guitar playing, even if instrumental music isn’t of particular interest to you, John 5’s show is a must-see.
JOHN 5 SET LIST: “Season of the Witch,” “Que Pasa,” “666 Pickers in Hell,” “Crank It – Living with Ghosts,” “Zoinks!,” “Cactus Flower,” “Land of the Misfit Toys,” “I Am John 5,” “How High the Moon,” “Constant Sorrow,” “Black Grass Plague,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” Medley, “Home Sweet Home”