Dreamcar Gallery & Review – 5/27/17 The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL.


5/27/17 – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL.

By Bradley Todd 

            I am giddy. The kind of giddy you feel when you meet somebody new and feel an immediate attraction. The way you feel when you talk to a new love interest for the first time and sense sparks of chemistry in your conversation. The kind of giddy you feel with long winded conversations with no lulls, but also lengthy eye contact without any words spoken. Holding hands…a first kiss…and beyond. All of it.

The object of my affections? Dreamcar.

It was only a few weeks ago when I had fallen asleep with the TV on, only to be awoken by a musical performance on the Late Late Show (w/ James Corden) by a band I didn’t know, but was immediately moved by… while wiping the sleep from my eyes. The song had an emotional urgency to it. The vibrant band bounced and rocked, breathing the vibe of the song. I only heard half the song (Kill for Candy)…but that was enough.

I bought Dreamcar’s new, self-titled album, their first, upon waking the next morning. And I have enjoyed the hell out of it since. 12 tracks – all killer, no filler. It brings me to the emotional space that has been filled in the past by great bands such as Duran Duran, The Smiths, The Cure, Psychedelic Furs…and more recently, The Killers.

Despite being a debut album from a new band, Dreamcar are anything but rookies in the music game. The band is comprised the members of No Doubt, minus Gwen, with singer Davey Havok from band AFI. And in Davey, Tom Dumont (guitar), Adrian Young (drums), and Tony Kanal (bass) have found the perfect person for this new musical venture, as was obvious at Chicago’s The Vic Theatre on May 27th, the final stop of the band’s recent tour.

While the group is new, the presentation and performance is well honed and tight, the chemistry undeniable. Despite playing the intimate Vic Theatre, the band brought a full production of sound and stage, including a keys player and two background singers to round out the sound…and it paid off in the performance. The band played every song from their debut album perfectly, albeit in a different running order, as well as David Bowie and INXS covers, ultimately closing with their single that hooked me in, Kill For Candy (full setlist below).

While Tom, Adrian and Tony laid down grooves that propelled this show with energy and enthusiasm, Davey Havok was the emotional face of this performance. I don’t know much about Davey Havok, other than the fact that he just might be my new favorite singer. A strong baritone, Havok presented with style reminiscent of the 40’s, wearing a gray suit and monochrome rust red shirt and skinny tie, along with a retro, mop top hairstyle and pencil thin moustache. But style aside, this dude can sing. His vocal performance was strong and flawless. And Havok doesn’t just sing songs, he delivers them dramatically, acting out the emotions of each line skillfully and with sincerity…to the point that I was unsure if I was watching a singer in an actor’s body, or vice versa. When he looked a crowd member in the face during the song Do Nothing and sang “You do nothing for me…” he paused for dramatic effect before repeating “Nothing!” And I believed him. 

            One other thing I must mention that contributed to my enjoyment of this fantastic show: the sound mix. It was straight up stellar. I can’t recall ever hearing better sound at any concert, at any other venue. Each instrument was crisp and clear, and each vocal – lead, as well as background – front and center with out any distortion…so kudos to you, Mr. Soundman!


  1. After I Confessed
  2. The Assailant
  3. Born to Lie
  4. Slip On the Moon
  5. The Preferred
  6. Moonage Daydream
  7. On the Charts
  8. Do Nothing
  9. Ever Lonely
  10. Don’t Let Me Love
  11. All the Dead Girls
  12. Don’t Change
  13. Show Me Mercy
  14. Kill for Candy

The Dead Daisies – Concert Photo Gallery – 8/20/16 Rockford, IL.

The Dead Daisies are currently out on tour in the U.S. as the opening act for KISS, on the latter’s Freedom to Rock Tour (complete The Dead Daisies photo gallery below).

Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-00041

The Daisies are supporting their new record, Make Some Noise, which is their third album, and the first with new guitarist, Doug Aldrich, who is best known for his stint in Whitesnake, but has played with Glenn Hughes and others (the rest of the band consists of singer John Corabi, Drummer Brian Tichy, bassist Marco Mendoza, and rhythm guitarist David Lowy).

Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-09998-3

Make Some Noise is a straight up “dirty” (as I think Dough Aldrich described it) rock record with shades of vintage Aerosmith along with other influences, mixed with a Los Angeles, Sunset Strip vibe. Fans of Corabi’s one album stint as the singer in Motley Crue in the early 90’s will certainly find something to like with this collection of songs, as John’s vocal punch and delivery from that era remains in effect and is reminiscent of the style he displayed on Motley’s self titled album. Brian Tichy hits hard and with great groove, and meshes well with Mendoza and Lowy to round out this quintet.

Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-09110Dead Daisies 2016-08-20 web image-00031

The group is musically tight, but plays with a loose demeanor that created an enjoyable performance on 8/20/16 in Rockford, IL., as the band came on about 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled start time, but got to play for close to an hour in the opening slot covering a good deal of ground.

You can follow The Dead Daisies on their website at www.thedeaddaisies.com , and they’ve got a pretty active social media presence on the band’s and individual members’ various social media accounts (which can be linked to from their website) which often consists of daily photos/updates, and even video clips from backstage, the road and their promotional appearances while on tour.


Cheap Trick – Concert Review & Gallery – 7/19/16 Northerly Island, Chicago, IL.

Cheap Trick is out on the road this summer as part of the “Rock Hall Three For All” tour featuring their fellow Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Joan Jett and Heart, and made a stop in in their hometown (well… their 2nd hometown, after Rockford, IL.) Chicago on 7/19/16 at Northerly Island. This was the 4th stop on a tour which is currently scheduled to the beginning of October.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

The band is out in support of their wonderful new album (w/ the odd title), “Bang, Zoom Crazy…Hello,” which rocks from the opening to the closing note, and is also notable as the group’s first album with Daxx Nielsen, guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son, on drums.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

While Cheap Trick is opening the shows on this tour, don’t be fooled because they are headliners who just happen to be playing first (my guess is that they were added to the tour after the Heart/Joan Jett lineup was already set). They pack their hour long set with hits and new songs, and switch up the setlist from night to night, showing the depth of their catalog.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

Daxx Nielsen brings a great energy to the group, and Tom Petersson always lays down a solid base to the rhythm section with his 12 string bass. Rick Nielsen is the master of ceremonies with his distinctive guitar work, quirky presence and personality. And Robin Zander is simply a freak of nature the way his voice has retained its range and tone decades after he began his long run fronting one of America’s rock ‘n’ roll treasures.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

Cheap Trick still wants you to want them, and with their new album they are showing they are still worthy of our desire.

Set List Below:

Heart – Concert Photo gallery – 7/19/16 Northerly Island, Chicago, IL.

Heart have set out a summer tour with two of their fellow Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick, called “Rock Hall Three For All,” with the 4th stop on the tour in Chicago at the Northerly Island venue on 7/19/16. Dates for the tour are currently scheduled to early October.

Heart - July 19, 2016 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.Heart - July 19, 2016 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

The tour is in support of the group’s new album, Beautiful Broken, mixing old classics with new music. Bestrocklist.com was on hand for the proceedings and brings this photo gallery to show readers what the party looked like.

Set List:

  1. Encore:

  2. Love Hurts (w/ Cheap Trick)

Heart news and info can be found at their website at: http://www.heart-music.com/welcome , as well as their social media accounts.

The Winery Dogs – Concert Review & Photo Gallery – 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre – St. Charles, IL.

The Winery Dogs recently wrapped up a world tour, but not before stopping for a show at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, on June 30th, 2016.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

The band, a trio consisting of bassist, Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big), Drummer, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), and guitarist, Richie Kotzen (Poison), was out supporting their fantastic sophomore album, Hot Streak, which is an appropriate title to describe the songwriting roll these musicians have been on since joining forces not too long ago.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

Each player in this group is exceptionally talented at their respective instruments, but together have created musical magic in songs that allow each to show off their skills within the confines of their incredibly catchy, groove-y, melodic, sing-a-long rock tunes.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

I was on hand to catch The Winery Dogs on a second swing through the Arcada Theatre (after a well received show earlier in the tour which I unfortunately missed), where they impressed the crowd with their instrumental chops and infectious songs, while letting their respective personalities (Billy – the ultimate professional/showman, Mike – the gregarious comedian/character, Richie – the serious, almost brooding, multi-instrumental virtuoso) shine through. This night was confirmation of a hot streak, indeed.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

You can follow The Winery Dogs on their website: www.thewinerydogs.com , and on their social media accounts, which can be linked to from their homepage.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

Whitesnake – Concert Review & Photos – 6/10/16 Hammond, IN.

Whitesnake – “Greatest Hits Tour – 2016”

6/10/16 – The Venue, Horseshoe Casino – Hammond, IN.

By Bradley Todd

Whitesnake - June 10, 2016 Horseshoe Casino - Hammond, IN.

Whitesnake, fresh off lead singer & band leader, David Coverdale’s April Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction with his former group, Deep Purple, are back on the road for the “Greatest Hits Tour – 2016.”

Whitesnake - June 10, 2016 Horseshoe Casino - Hammond, IN.

The tour kicked off on June 1st and rolled into The Venue at Horseshoe Casino, in Hammond, IN. on Friday 6/10/16 for the 6th show of a summer trek that will see Whitesnake cover Midwest and East Coast dates to July 2, before heading overseas to Europe for shows currently announced on their website through August, 13th. Whitford St. Holmes (the side project from Aerosmith guitarist, Brad Whitford, and Ted Nugent singer/guitarist, Derek St. Holmes) is opening the US leg of the tour, though they didn’t open this particular show (…and as a side note, Whitford St. Holmes has a great new rock record out and is fun to see live – previous coverage of their record preview tour can be found here: Show Review – http://bestrocklist.com/whitford-st-holmes-concert-review/ and Photos – http://bestrocklist.com/whitford-st-holmes-concert-photos/ ).

Whitesnake - June 10, 2016 Horseshoe Casino - Hammond, IN.

As the tour’s title suggests, they’re playing all the hits with the setlist taken from the band’s three 80’s albums: Slide It In (1984), Whitesnake (1987), and Slip Of The Tongue (1989). Mr. Coverdale has re-assembled a talented cadre of musicians for the current incarnation of the band after a couple of departures over the past few years. The group currently consists of drumming legend, Tommy Aldridge (who is in his third stint with the group, and still plays with great flair and hits the skins hard as hell!), Reb Beach on the twin guitar attack along with Joel Hoekstra, Michael Devin on bass, and newcomer to the band, Michele Luppi on keyboards.

Whitesnake - June 10, 2016 Horseshoe Casino - Hammond, IN.

The band’s talent shone through on this night and they sounded well rehearsed and tight despite it being early in the tour. David Coverdale’s voice sounded good too, even though he was making reference to having a “summer cold” and encouraged audience participation sing alongs to finish verses and bolster choruses. But little encouragement was needed for fans, which seemed to be an equal mix of men and women, to sing along to Whitesnake’s catchy, indelible melodies and lyrics. If Mr. Coverdale was feeling under the weather in any way, it was hard to tell based on the good spirits he was in, and his jovial interactions with fans up front with whom he was giving hand slaps and mugging for cell phone pictures.

Whitesnake - June 10, 2016 Horseshoe Casino - Hammond, IN.

In addition to the hits, the set also included solo spotlights for each guitar player, bassist and drummer, and lasted approximately 90 minutes.

**More Photos Below Setlist**


  1. Bad Boys
  2. Slide It In
  3. Love Ain’t No Stranger
  4. The Deeper The Love
  5. Fool For Your Lovin’
  6. Sailing Ships
  7. Judgment Day


  1. Slow & Easy
  2. Cryin’ In The Rain


  1. Is This Love
  2. Gimme All Your Love
  3. Here I Go Again


  1. Still Of The Night


Future tour dates and Whitesnake news can be found on the band’s website: www.whitesnake.com .

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Interview: JOHN 5 – Guitar hero discusses new solo work and Rob Zombie music, his love of his fans, and his collaborations w/ David Lee Roth & Ace Frehley

Interview: JOHN 5 – Guitar hero discusses new solo work and Rob Zombie music, his love of his fans, and his collaborations w/ David Lee Roth & Ace Frehley


Behind The Nut Love Artwork

Ass-kicking axe aficionado, John 5, is about to kick off a month long solo tour in March, with a March 6th Chicago stop at Reggies Rock Club (tickets available now here: click to get tickets to John 5 in Chicago), before he sets out on a long tour where he’ll be playing “every place that has electricity” with his main gig, the Rob Zombie band.

The solo tour will feature his band, John 5 & The Creatures, performing newly released material, as well as other selections from his many solo albums, and promises to showcase his immense guitar slinging talents, as well as the excellent chops of The Creatures.

John 5 recently spoke to Bradley Todd of Bestrocklist.com about his new material and tour, his love of his fans, the upcoming Rob Zombie album and tour, scoring Rob Zombie’s new film, as well as his collaborations with David Lee Roth and Ace Frehley.


BestRockList: You’ve released two new songs (and accompanying videos) so far this year called “Black Grass Plague” and “Behind The Nut Love” (watch below), with a third, “Making Monsters”, to come out on March 1st.

In the past, you’ve released full length solo albums. What is the direction you are going with releasing the three songs as opposed to a record? Why the change?

JOHN 5: Well, here’s what I’m doing – I’m releasing a song and a video the 1st of every month…

BestRockList: For the whole year?

JOHN 5: Yeah, for the whole year…so why I’m doing that is that the music, the way people listen to music, and all that stuff, has changed so dramatically. And what I did is very simple. You know we’re older, but the kids…what they do, is they have no idea what a record is or pretty much not even what a CD is. How people, how kids, are watching music, and listening to music… it’s just YouTube. And what that means is, the kids aren’t even really watching TV anymore. Everything they want to see is on YouTube. So what I’ve been doing is… I did a little research and I’m looking at videos, and I’ll think to myself, “Ok, what’s a really popular video?” And I thought, “Ok, let’s do All About That Bass,” from that girl artist…I forget her name…but, I looked it up and it was over a billion views, and that’s astronomical. Then, I would look at how many records she sold, and she sold between 3 million, something like that, which is amazing, that’s great!…but, now it’s proven to me that everyone’s just watching YouTube.

So I released a video. I released a song on the 1st of January (Black Grass Plague), and the views were through the roof, and I was like, I would never sell 50,000 copies in a few weeks, it just wouldn’t happen. And that’s what been happening…you know, people are just looking at the video, and the song is for sale…every song is for sale on iTunes…so it’s kind of a new model, and it’s working. And it’s not like by any means I’m some kind of a genius to figure this out, it’s just common knowledge. So, at the end of the year, I’m going to put together a CD, a physical CD of all the videos…a documentary…you know, everything you want. And the album is called Guitars, Tits & Monsters.

BestRockList: (Laughing)

JOHN 5: Awesome!

BestRockList: I like that title.

JOHN 5: It’s great, huh?!

BestRockList: Exactly! Do you have any sense so far of the couple songs that you’ve released, how the videos are affecting the sales of the digital songs on iTunes, Amazon, etc.?

JOHN 5: It’s unbelievable. And here’s what’s going on: let’s say we buy a record off iTunes, ok? The record is…you know…we’ll only listen to maybe the popular songs, or maybe we won’t even buy the whole record…maybe we’ll just cherry pick the songs we like. So, here’s the deal: each month, here you go…here’s a new song by me…and you can check out the video for free, and if you like it, buy the song. And it’s per month, so every month you get a new song and a new video. It’s been really, really successful, and the next video is called Making Monsters and it’s crazy, crazy great! It’s stop animation, and there’s this action figure of me, and it’s really cool and fun to see.

BestRockList: Is the action figure going to be available?

JOHN 5: I don’t know. They want to make it, but it’s so funny because I’m so busy, I’m so unbelievably busy… right now as we’re speaking, I am on my way to another video shoot…and I have a video shoot with Zombie on Sunday (2/28), and then Monday (2/29) I leave for tour…so I have to get to the action figure thing, so hopefully, yes…the answer is yes, I’d love to do that.

BestRockList: So how would you describe the songs that you’re releasing this year?

JOHN 5: It’s a good question. It’s a wide array of music, because you’re not listening to the same thing over and over and over again. I think it’s just very important to have a different kind of vibe…I just want the songs to be really good, and I want it to be really cool guitar music. And when people come to the show, they’re like, “Oh okay, this is rad!” or something like that. Each song is definitely entertaining.

BestRockList: When you recorded this collection of songs, did you play anything besides guitar on it?

JOHN 5: No, I have this amazing band (The Creatures), just killer, killer guys. It’s a great band…Rodger Carter is playing drums, and Ian Ross is playing bass. And they’re just phenomenal musicians.

BestRockList: How long have you played with them?

JOHN 5: I’ve played with Rodger, the drummer, most of my life…on and off, like in the studio…but Ian, for about a year.

BestRockList: Do you write with The Creatures too?

JOHN 5: No, I’m the sole writer.

BestRockList: Do you sing?

JOHN 5: God no!

BestRockList: When you write, do you ever envision what you’re writing with vocals?

JOHN 5: Yeah, I’ll show it to Zombie…I’m his guitar player and he’s my singer, so sometimes if it’s cool I’ll send it to Rob. [Some of the stuff I write] is like little symphonies or orchestras, it’s so much work…there’s a lot going on.

BestRockList: What’s your songwriting process like?

JOHN 5: That’s a fine question. I’m not really sure to be honest with you. It’s such a strange process because I’ll be like, “I really enjoyed that…that’s cool…that sounds really good…let me try to turn that into something.” And then I’ll just work on it. But writing instrumental music is very, very difficult. It’s a lot of time and I just don’t want to get a riff or something and just improvise over it…I just want the whole thing to be interesting. I love it and it takes a lot of brain power, and I really enjoy that art.

BestRockList: How often do you write?

JOHN 5: Every day.

BestRockList: Do you record all your ideas?

JOHN 5: I’m kind like a fighter. I’ll train, train, train, and get it down so well, like perfectly…and that’s the time for the fight, and I’ll go into the studio and I’ll try and knock it out really quick because I don’t want to waste everybody’s time sitting there writing and trying to figure out what to do.

BestRockList: Tell me about your upcoming tour. Is it a warm-up for the Zombie tour, which starts the month after yours ends?

JOHN 5: Actually the drummer, Rodger, was like, “We should go do some shows.” And I was like, “Do some shows?! I’ve never done instrumental shows….I don’t know.” And he’s like, “Let’s just do a couple.” And so we did a couple, and they were so successful, I was shocked at how successful these shows were. So whenever I have a little time open, I’ll go and play. And we are coming up on doing some shows. I leave Monday. But the cool thing is we’re doing like 16 shows in a row, and you can’t really do that with a singer because you’re gonna blow that singer’s voice out…but if it’s just guitar we can squeeze as many shows in as possible.

BestRockList: I’ve watched some of videos of you and The Creatures from Ultimate Jam Night (an open mic night for professional musicians at Lucky Strike in Hollywood on Wednesday nights) and it was really good.

JOHN 5: Yeah, it’s fun. We just got up and jammed. We have a really cool show behind it (for the tour). It’s kind of like a little Alice Cooper instrumental show…there’s a lot that’s going into it. But that Lucky Strike, we just got up and played.

[But normally], we do stuff that takes a lot of practice. Anything you’ll see us do takes tons of practice because it’s like juggling chainsaws…it’s like, “Ooh, he’s gonna drop that chainsaw any time…” because there’s so much going on.

BestRockList: How long will the sets for the upcoming tour be?

JOHN 5: I’d say probably an 1:20. But they’re really interesting, and here’s the reason why: we’ll be doing heavy stuff, and then we’ll break into bluegrass stuff, and then we’ll break into flamenco, and things like that…and there’s a show behind it, and if you don’t like guitar instrumental music…and most people don’t…but you will definitely be entertained. That’s the whole key to it. You know, people are bringing their girlfriends, and these girls don’t want to sit through this, but nobody leaves and people really, really enjoy it. You know, they’re like, “Oh cool! This is really fun.” We’ll do an instrumental cover of Beat It, and all this stuff, and it’s a really fun, cool show.

BestRockList: Do you guys change up the setlist from night to night?

JOHN 5: It’s a well oiled machine, but let’s say we go to Chicago, you won’t see the same setlist if we come to Chicago again, I guarantee that! It’ll be different songs…not all different songs…but it’ll be probably 3 or 4 different songs, so it’s really always a fresh show.

BestRockList: What part of the upcoming solo tour are you looking forward to the most?

JOHN 5: I really enjoy talking to the fans. So of course, playing is #1, but I love interacting with the fans, and I love listening to what they have to say. I, being a fan of certain things, I like to listen to what these kids are saying, because I’m a fan and I was one of those [kids]. And I think it’s really imperative to do that…I enjoy it, myself.

BestRockList: When does the Zombie tour start?

JOHN 5: The Zombie tour starts April 29th.

BestRockList: Tell me about the new Zombie album.

JOHN 5: What we did with that record is…you know, you have a lifetime to make your first record, and with this record, we really took our time. We were like, okay let’s really live with these songs, and we didn’t rush through it. Because the label’s always like, “Where’s our video?” or this, that or the other thing. [So] we took our time and it came out great…and we’re so excited to get some new songs under our belt, and play those new songs.

BestRockList: So who comes up with the crazy Zombie song and album titles?

JOHN 5: That is allllll Rob. He comes up with everything.

BestRockList: What is the collaboration process like with Rob when you make Zombie music?

JOHN 5: I usually go to his house and we’ll just start writing riffs. I’ll come up with a riff and he’s like, “I like that,” and we’ll work on the music together. And it’s great…it’s a great writing collaboration. We write together, and we work on every single bit together, and it’s really a wonderful, wonderful writing process.

BestRockList: Has the way you write with Rob changed at all over time?

JOHN 5: It’s always stayed the same. You know, if it’s working, stick with that formula. It’s great.

BestRockList: How long will the Zombie tour last?

JOHN 5: A long time…they’re usually like 2 years.

BestRockList: I saw there are Midwest dates already announced, but Chicago isn’t on the list. Will there be a Zombie show in Chicago?

JOHN 5: Of course, it’ll come. We’ll probably be there in the summertime, or somewhere like that. We’re gonna hit every place that has electricity!

BestRockList: Tell me about the movie score that you just did for Rob Zombie’s new film, 31.

JOHN 5: I’ve done tons of movie scores, but this is my second Zombie film. I’ve done Baywatch, I’ve done all these things like that throughout my life…and a lot of weird things that people don’t know about. I’m not a big fan of scoring films or TV shows, but I’ll always do it for Rob because I love his movies and he’s my great friend and I respect him so much. [Scoring] is a TON of work, but it’s so rewarding to see it on the big screen. Now I just saw Rob’s movie…he had a little viewing of his new movie, 31, and I will tell you, this movie is SO good. It’s my favorite Zombie movie. It’s an amazing movie. I remember sitting there going, “It’s over?!” You don’t even know that time is going by because you’re so engulfed in this movie. It’s crazy. I’m so proud of him.

BestRockList: What’s it about?

JOHN 5: It’s a bunch of people travelling in the 70’s and it’s Halloween night, and they get stopped, and they get captured, and they’re in this warehouse thing and they have to survive the night, Halloween night, [from] these brutal killers, and they have to try and survive. It’s like a game. And it is SUCH an amazing movie. You’re on the edge of your seat. It’s great.

BestRockList: I’d like to ask you about your work with David Lee Roth. Is it true you got involved with Dave just by sending 6 of your songs to his management?

JOHN 5: Yeah.

BestRockList: How long had you been writing them before you sent them in?

JOHN 5: Well, I sent 2 songs to him…I think I sent Slam Dunk and Little Texas. And then he said he really liked them, can [I] send more? And so I went into the studio and wrote more. [And this was through] management, I hadn’t even talked to Dave yet…so that’s 4 songs. And then they said, “Hey, Dave likes these, can you write some more?” And I was like “Ok.” But money was tight, ya know? It’s expensive to record these. So I recorded 2 more, and he’s like, “Great, can you record more?” And I said, “Well, I don’t really have the funds to keep recording…” And [management] is like, “Ok, well come to Dave’s house.”

I went to Dave’s house, and he said, “We’re gonna make a record!” and I was like oh my god, this is incredible! So, it was kinda that fast. Everything, all of that happened, like, I was probably writing those songs for like a week or two, and they’re just how they are, how you hear them without vocals.

BestRockList: So the arrangements were complete at the time you gave them to him?

JOHN 5: Yeah… you know, of course, Ray Luzier killed it on drums (when the songs were recorded for the album)…but it’s pretty much the same thing that you hear… I probably wrote it in a week, maybe two weeks at the most. And then we’d make a record in two weeks, mixed and mastered. So it was such a fast, fast process. It was incredible.

BestRockList: Was Dave writing the lyrics on the fly as you were recording?

JOHN 5: Yes, never seen anything like it. They guy is a genius. And if you listen to these lyrics, they’re UN-believable! These lyrics…I can’t believe it…like ‘From shack to chateau.’ You know, it’s like, so cool.

BestRockList: Or “Little Elvis is combat ready.”

JOHN 5: Yeah! Brilliant…brilliant! I was watching him just create and it was genius. But one thing he said to me that scared the hell out of me…now this is David Lee Roth, who is my hero, your hero…he said, “We’re going to record this just like Van Halen. We’re going to record it live.” And I was like, “Okay.” And he said, “If you can’t get it in two takes, you can’t get it.” And I was like, “Oh my god!”

So, we did it, sure enough…all those songs on one or two takes.

BestRockList: What’s Dave like personally? Is he always electric and “on,” or have you seen a regular guy side to him?

JOHN 5: You know, that’s a fine question. He’s so smart…I mean scary smart, this guy…so we’ll talk and just hang normal, but then that other part comes on. So it’s like 50/50. He’s so brilliant, this guy. I think he might even be too smart!

He does so much stuff, he will gather all this information, and he knows a little bit about everything. That’s what I love about him. He’s brilliant.

BestRockList: How come you guys never toured the DLR Band album together?

JOHN 5: I joined Marilyn Manson….but [Dave and I] did make another record.

BestRockList: I’ve heard that you guys have a completed, but unreleased album. How many tracks are on it?

JOHN 5: I think like 11. And they’re so good! There’s a song called “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Now”…I think that’s the title… and this song, I’ll listen to it just as like one of my favorite songs…it’s so good, man. This guy, like his talent, his voice and everything, just sounds like Van Halen[‘s third album], Women and Children First. His voice is just unbelieveable. And we did this record and I’m so proud of this record, so hopefully it’ll see the light of day one day.

BestRockList: Are there any other song titles you could share?

JOHN 5: There’s one called “Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar & Grill”. It’s genius!

BestRockList: Who played on that album?

JOHN 5: Gregg Bissonette, who played on Eat ‘Em & Smile and Skyscraper, I played bass on it, Brett Tuggle…he played keys, and he was also in the [EEAS & Skyscraper band]. It’s a great album, but it’s not like crazy rock music, that’s the thing.

BestRockList: Is there any intention to release it?

JOHN 5: It’s totally up to Dave.

BestRockList: Have you had any discussions about it?

JOHN 5: Yeah, we always talk about it, you know? It’s so good. And I’m so happy I have a copy…it’s really, really something else!

BestRockList: I heard you moved out to LA from Michigan when you were 17. Did you go out there by yourself?

JOHN 5: Yeah. I was by myself, but I had one friend who lived out here. Luckily I got to stay with him, and I started my life and my career.

BestRockList: How’d you get the balls to do that?

JOHN 5: Well, I just knew I was not going to…I was a pretty wise kid, I guess…I knew that opportunity knocks a lot louder out here.

BestRockList: How did you get involved in playing on Ace Frehley’s new album of cover songs?

JOHN 5: Ace called me and said, “Hey, I’m doing a covers album and I want to have you on it.”

And I was like, “I’m there!” And I was going over the Hendrix song, and we were gonna do Space Truckin’ as well. [Then] he called me and he goes, “We’re going to do ‘Parasite’.” And I was like “Oh my god!” I was [thinking] this is unbelievable. You know I love KISS and I’m like, I’m gonna do Parasite with Ace! You know…KISS Alive…Hotter Than Hell!

So here we are, we’re in the studio, we’re doing it, we’re playing together and he said, “Why don’t you improvise, and I’ll improvise.” And me, being the fan, said, “Ace, why don’t you do the Parasite solo, and then I’ll come in after you?” And he played the solo, and he plays it in one take…but it’s so Ace, it’s so great…one take, boom! And that’s what went on the record. And I was like, “This is awesome!”

BestRockList: Had you ever played with Ace before?

JOHN 5: Yes. Luckily I have had the privilege to play with him.

BestRockList: How did you guys decide on Spanish Castle Magic?

JOHN 5: It’s a classic Hendrix song. It’s one of his favorites and it’s one of mine.

BestRockList: Thanks for your time today, John.

JOHN 5: See you on 3/6 [in Chicago]!

See the photos from the show here: John 5 Concert Photos

Watch Black Grass Plague

Watch Behind The Nut Love

-You can follow John 5 on Facebook (www.facebook.com/john5official), Instagram (@john5official) and Twitter (@john5guitarist), and purchase his music on iTunes and Amazon.

-Bradley Todd is a Chicago based concert photographer who also shoots people (only w/ cameras), events, places & things. You can follow him on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bradleytoddphotography), Instagram (@bradleytoddphotography), and Twitter (@bradleytphoto)

Concert Review: Big Head Todd & the Monsters – 2/6/16 House of Blues – Chicago, IL.


Concert Review: Big Head Todd & the Monsters – 2/6/16 House of Blues – Chicago, Illinois


Big Head Todd & the Monsters are on the road celebrating their 30th anniversary, and brought the party to a sold out show at Chicago’s House of Blues on February 6, 2016.


The band, consisting of Todd Park Mohr (guitar & vocals), Brian Nevin (drums), Rob Squires (bass), and Jeremy Lawton (keyboards & pedal steel guitar), came bearing gifts in the form of two recently released new songs: “Wipeout Turn,” and “New World Arisin’”…and there’s a newly released video to accompany “Wipeout Turn”, which was produced and directed by Big Head Todd, himself.


B.H.T.M (their screen name on a few social media sites) is very popular in Chicago and had no problem selling out the House of Blues, as I believe they did on their last time through town when they were out supporting their last album, Black Beehive. The crowd this night packed the main floor, and the surrounding side bars, shoulder to shoulder…once you found a spot it was best to stay put!


The audience was hungry for music, and the band, which has been mixing up their setlists pretty well from night to night on this tour, didn’t disappoint. The group’s performances are known for substance over flash, and their sparse stage set-up indicated as much. They came out and skillfully played their way through an 18 song set that included the two new singles, as well as a good sampling from their long career…which includes elements of straight rock, folk, blues and maybe even some funk. The set (see below for setlist) rocked steadily and closed with a rousing rendition of the John Lee Hooker blues standard, Boom Boom, with guest guitarist, Ronnie Baker Brooks.


The band has a few more dates on this leg of their tour, which wraps up in March, and they also have an official anniversary gig set for June in their home state of Colorado, at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre.


Mike Doughty, formerly of Soul Coughing, opened the show.




  1. New World Arisin’
  2. Crazy Mary
  3. Broken Hearted Savior
  4. Muhammad Ali
  5. Tower
  6. Please Don’t Tell Her
  7. Moose Song
  8. Wipeout Turn
  9. Rocksteady
  10. It’s Alright/Sexual Healing
  11. Everything About You
  12. Bittersweet
  13. Beautiful World
  14. Fly Like an Eagle
  15. Cashbox/Ride On Josephine/Who Do You Love
  16. Hey Delilah
  17. Circle

ENCORE (w/ Ronnie Baker Brooks)

  1. I’ll Play the Blues for You
  2. Boom Boom

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Whitford St. Holmes Concert Review

Whitford St. Holmes Concert Review
“For the Fun of it”
November 14, 2015
Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago, Illinois


Whitford St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes



Good, old-fashioned fun. That, I surmise, is the reason Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes, of Aerosmith and Ted Nugent Band fame, respectively, have reunited and re-kindled a side project called Whitford/St. Holmes they had together for an album in the early 80’s.

So the boys, who live near each other down in Nashville, have put the band back together, so to speak, writing and recording a collection of nine songs that make up a new album appropriately entitled, Reunion. The new album (which isn’t available until early 2016, unless you attend one of the band’s shows, where it can be purchased) seems similar to the original, consisting of melodic, guitar driven album oriented rock, or AOR.

The fact that AOR is not a popular genre, commercially, right now is beside the point for the resurrection of this project, as the purpose of it seems to be: Fun. The fun that two longtime friends and musicians have when they get together and write, record and play music for the simple enjoyment of it (and I assume, for Brad, the fun that comes from making and performing music without the constraints of a day job like Aerosmith). And fans of Holmes and Whitford and this type of music are the beneficiaries of this “fun,” because Whitford/St. Holmes have hit the road in the form of a short mini-tour to take their songs, new and old, and rock them out.

The two have put together a band consisting of Troy Luccketta from Tesla on drums, Buck Johnson from Aerosmith’s touring band on keyboards & vocals, and well regarded Nashville session player, Chopper Anderson, on bass guitar. The outfit played on Saturday, November 14th at Reggies in Chicago, which was the group’s 3rd show of this band’s short tour of approximately 10 dates…but you wouldn’t know it by how tight the band was this night and they appear to already be a well oiled rock ‘n’ roll unit. I was surprised then, when I spoke with drummer Luccketta, a hard hitting energetic performer, after the show and he said the tour rehearsals were limited. It definitely didn’t show.

The highlights of the show are the group’s namesakes. Derek St. Holmes’ long locks from the 80’s may be gone, but his vocal tone, power and performing chops, not to mention his guitar playing, are still in full effect and very engaging. It’s also a pleasure to see Brad Whitford’s riffage and soloing front and center, confirming any doubt he is an underrated player.

The band whipped through a number of new tunes (all nine from the new album, which runs about 37 minutes, albeit in a different running order), followed by some from the first album from the 80’s, and then closed with four well known numbers – two from Aerosmith and two from Ted Nugent. Fun indeed!

This short tour wraps up 11/22, so act quickly to catch them. See all the dates on their website: Whitford St. Holmes.  But there seems to be talk of more dates once the album is officially released next year.

1. Shake It
2. Tender is the Night
3. Rock All Day
4. Hot For You
5. Shapes
6. Catch My Fall
7. Hell is on Fire
8. Gotta Keep on Movin’
9. Flood of Lies
10. Shy Away
11. Every Morning
12. Whiskey Woman
13. Sharpshooter
14. Hey Baby (Nugent)
15. Last Child (Aerosmith, sang by Buck Johnson)
16. Train Kept a Rollin’ (Aerosmith)
17. Stranglehold (Nugent)


Click to view complete Whitford St. Holmes Photo Gallery

Whitford St Holmes Concert Photos

Whitford St Holmes Concert Photos
November 14, 2015
Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago, Illinois


Whitford St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Derek St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Brad Whitford

Whitford St. Holmes

Derek St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Buck Johnson

Whitford St. Holmes

Brad Whitford

Whitford St. Holmes

Brad Whitford

Whitford St. Holmes

Derek St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Brad Whitford

Whitford St. Holmes

Buck Johnson

Whitford St. Holmes

Troy Luccketta

Whitford St. Holmes

Troy Luccketta

Whitford St. Holmes

Derek St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Derek St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes

Troy Luccketta

Whitford St. Holmes

Chopper Anderson

Whitford St. Holmes

Whitford St. Holmes