For many fans, rock and roll is a genre that is best experienced in a live setting.  Nothing quite beats the experience of seeing and hearing your favorite band live and in person.   In an attempt to capture the magic of these live performances, the record industry came up with the “live album” concept.  Over the years some of the most iconic rock albums in history  have been live records including such classics as Deep Purple’s “Made In Japan,” KISS “Alive!,” and Cheap Trick’s “Live at Budokan.”

Guitar virtuoso John 5 is the latest in a long line of fantastic artists to release a live album with his newest offering “It’s Alive”  which is also his first record to be released on vinyl.  John 5 is an extraordinarily talented guitarist and to see him live on one of his solo runs with his backing band the Creatures is the best way to experience all he has to offer.  His latest record is the next best thing.  Recorded live on his tour stop in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, the album is a complete recording of his live set.   “Guitars, Tits and Monsters” kicks things off with its creepy monster movie music and John 5 is off and rolling.  The set is a diverse mix of various genres and combinations of everything from rock and metal to country, flamenco, and swing.  “Jiffy Jam” and “Hell Haw” provide a uniquely country twang and Black Grass Plague” is an interesting blend of metal and bluegrass.  The album closes with John 5’s rock medley which plays snippets of everything from Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” to Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” and even a bit of reggae funk with “Roxanne” by The Police.

If you’ve never been able to catch John 5 and the Creatures live, pick up “It’s Alive” and find out what you’ve been missing.  And if you’ve already been lucky enough to check them out in person, you’ll want to add this to your collection as a memento of the experience.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978. My top five live shows ever are: 1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome. 2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours. 3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 - The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked! 4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live. 5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.