John5-Live Invasion(2020)

Never been big on guitar noodling albums. By that, I mean instrumental albums as the last one of those noodling albums I bought was Steve Vai’s “Passion And Warfare” back in 1990!

30 friggin years ago!

As many of you readers know John5 brought his arena-sized like show of props and gadgets which good friend Frank Loffredo booked into his club Crocks back in March 2019

What I witnessed along with my good pal Tbone was an all-out display of guitaring that night. We were both floored!

So it was a complete no brainer purchase for me as when John5 announced this release earlier this year that I would be on board with it.

Most of the songs on “Live Invasion” are from the album that John5 and the Creatures were plugging at the time which was his studio record called “Invasion”.

10 songs, 48 minutes of music which for me is perfect. When it comes to guitar-centered albums this is enough for me if I’m being honest about it. 

John5 is an amazing guitarist as he’s very diverse. Sure he can shred as evidenced in the opening number “Crank It/Living With Ghosts” which features a female voice to Crank it Motherfucker while John 5 lifts off. John5 can also chill the hell out like “Howdy” proves. An almost country like old school jam out. Think Roy Clark from Hee-Haw electrified! That’s what Howdy reminds me of.

“Cactus Flower” once again shows the diverse playing of John5. Nice clean sound emulating from his guitar. Almost bluesy like moments

“Constant Sorrow” begins with a nice slow drum intro and features more atmospheric like playing. 

This album shows what a diversified player John5 is. If it was all a million notes per minute I would be bored after 5 minutes!

Ian Ross(Bass) and Logan Miles Nix(Drums) aid John5 and these cats can play especially on tracks like “Zionks!” and “I am John5”. Tempo changes at a moment’s notice as its awesome when they go right into that classic power trio mode. 

“Midnight Mass” is just crazy off the hook shredding yet it doesn’t get silly as his guitar playing keeps me as listener interested. It’s amazing how quick this guy can play. Yet it doesn’t sound like a million mashed up notes.

I can say that one of my favorite highlights of the Invasion show that came to town was the “Medley” perfromed by these guys.

Medley is 12 minutes of classic tracks. The song begins with snippets of “Limelight” and “Fly By Night(Rush)” which goes right into Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The playing is flawless. Tons of bands are covered. Sabbath, Queen, KISS, The Knack, The Police, Marilyn Manson, Zombie, Pantera, Megadeth. So good and totally amazing.

When the John5 power trio in the medley goes from “Spoonman to Dr. Feelgood to Unchained” it’s friggin brilliant! 

“Live Invasion” ends with another cover tune (with vocals) and that’s “Take Your Whiskey Home” which comes from the mighty “Woman & Children First” record by Van Halen!

Joining John5 on “Take Your Whiskey Home” is Corey Taylor on vocals who pulls off a pretty good David Lee Roth like vocal. Fred Coury(Cinderella) is on the drums while VH legend Micheal Anthony snaps the driving bass line along with those classic background vocals. Such a cool cover tune. 

If it wasn’t for John5 showing up to Tbay I probably would have not picked this up on iTunes. But he did show up and blew our minds, so for that reason, this was a must-buy!

Hey, even John5 agrees with me! See pic below.




30 thoughts on “John5-Live Invasion(2020)”

    1. That’s exactly it John as he is fan friendly. I told Frank this when we were talking about John5 last week.
      John5 can adapt going from arenas to clubs on his own and not be fazed by it. That says something about the man himself. Frank said John5 was very easy to deal with as a person. It comes across.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Excellent point about the ‘million notes per hour’ getting old, Deke – I find that with that style of playing too.
    5 minutes? Wow, you’ve proven you can play that speed, I’m impressed.
    Beyond that? OK, I get it already!
    So I’m pleased to hear he’s got much more than just speed to offer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You got that Geoff. I meant to put ‘million notes per minute’ Dang. lol But you got the drift of it. For a guitar only album John5 shows how much a diverse player he is. If it was 48 minutes of shred It would lose me but he mixes it up well.
      Give it a stream spin next time your out for a run!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BAHAHAHA. Leave it to you brother to figure that out. I’m glad you pointed that out so I went and changed it from an hour to a minute. I also noticed I had the drummers name as Logan Miles Davis lol…
        It’s actually Logan Miles Nix! What a dope I am at times as I read it over like 10 times over the last few days! lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I kind of see John 5 like Buckethead. Great technical guitarists, but I can’t look at them and take them seriously. LOL. I know it is a little judgmental on my part, but gotta be real. Thanks for the post. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John5 does not wear a KFC bucket on his head though Jeff! lol
      I think John5 does the makeup deal as he’s a huge KISS fan. i enjoyed this album a lot as it brought back a memory of a time when there were live shows! lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome. If he hadn’t shown up to town here I would have never realized how brilliant of a player he is.
        I have him on one of my DLR CD’s and he was good on that but John5 is doing the Dave Roth Rock Sound. John5 shows up to Tbay and does the whole out rock show and one tune has him ripping up on a banjo.


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