Highlights: Rob Zombie’s guitarist brings his own band to Lebanon

  • Guitarist John 5, who has performed alongside Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, brings his instrumental ensemble, The Creatures, into Lebanon Opera House on Sunday evening, March 17. (Courtesy photograph)

  • The Bill Rosen Quartet and vocalist Nancy Tripp perform jazz standards next Thursday evening, March 21, at the Library Arts Center in Newport, N.H. (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

In the unlikely event that John 5 and The Creatures play a Celtic tune in honor of St. Patrick during their concert at Lebanon Opera House on Sunday night, expect them to adorn it with shrieking guitar riffs, throbbing projections of ghoulish images and maybe some neon fog.

More likely, guitarist John 5 will lead bassist Ian Ross and drummer Logan Nix through nearly every other genre, from the kind of heavy metal he plays with Rob Zombie most of the year to something from Hee Haw, the 1970s variety show whose co-host and guitar wizard Roy Clark inspired him to devote his life to music.

“We’re talking about audiences ranging anywhere from 7 years old to 70, and the older people especially are, like, bluegrass people and country people,” the 47-year-old Michigan native who was known as John Lowery growing up, said this week, during a telephone interview on his way to a gig in Pennsylvania. “There’s metal, there’s country, there’s western swing.”

What there isn’t, by design, is lyrics. Since late 2014, between tours with Rob Zombie and its lead singer Robert Bartlett Cummings, John 5 and The Creatures have been eschewing vocals. Before joining Rob Zombie, John 5 had spent more than a quarter of century accompanying lead singers such as David Lee Roth (post-Van Halen) and goth-metal icon Marilyn Manson, who gave John 5 his stage name in 1998.

“It’s a hard sell, playing just instrumental music, but I love it,” John 5 said. “When I decided to try this, I wanted to do it in the right way, where it’s entertaining to people, sort of an Alice Cooper kind of show. I wanted to have monsters. I have amplifiers that come to life, and all sorts of other things. It’s a lot of fun.”

And word appears to be getting around: As of Wednesday afternoon, a couple of dozen seats remained among the 800 at Lebanon Opera House, mostly on the outside of the left and right sections of the orchestra floor.

“Now most of the shows are selling out,” John 5 said. “I’m so honored and happy. I’m shocked.”

John 5 and the Creatures perform at the Lebanon Opera House on Sunday night, with guest blues-rock guitarist Jared James Nichols. The Los Angeles goth/metal/punk band Dead Girls Academy opens the show at 7. For tickets ($20 to $30) and more information, visit lebanonoperahouse.org or call 603-448-0400.

Best bets

The roots trio Pete’s Posse, including Barnard native and multi-instrumentalist Tristan Henderson, play the The Skinny Pancake in Hanover on Thursday night at 7. Admission $5 to $10.

■Le Moulin Vert, an ensemble of performance artists, stages “Glitter AwakenKings: A Night of Drag Kings & Burlesque Dames,” at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction on Saturday night at 8. Doors open at 7; admission is $20.

Hartland Community Arts stages the murder mystery Hot Air at Damon Hall on Sunday night at 7. The play follows the effort to solve the deaths of contestants in an air-guitar contest. Admission is by donation to Hartland Community Arts programs.

■The Bill Rosen Quartet accompanies singer Nancy Tripp through a banquet of jazz standards and improvisations next Thursday night at 7, in the gallery of the Library Arts Center in Newport. Tickets ($15 in advance, $20 at the door) entitle audience members to coffee and dessert. To reserve seats and learn more, visit libraryartscenter.org.

Theater/performance art

Buyer & Cellar, one-man show at Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction. Northern Stage education director Eric Love performs the Jonathan Tolins comedy Thursday through Sunday. Admission $17.75 to $57.75.

Working, musical adaptation of Studs Terkel’s book of oral histories, Thursday night through Sunday afternoon at Briggs Opera House. Tickets $11.50 to $50. Visit wethepeopletheatre.com or call 802-295-7100.

■Auditions for chorus roles in summer musical Footloose!, Chandler Music Hall on Sunday. Audition-registration deadline Friday. To sign up and learn more, visit chandler-arts.org/youth.


Adam Ezra Group, roots-rock, Thursday night at 8 at Flying Goose Brewpub & Grille in New London. Admission $20.

■Woodchuck’s Revenge, folk-Americana, Saturday night at 7 at Unitarian-Universalist Meetinghouse in Springfield, Vt. Admission by donation.

■Soprano Katharine DeBoer and pianist James Winn, classical works of Haydn, Barber, Ravel and Vaughan Williams, next Thursday night at 7:30 at West Newbury (Vt.) Congregational Church. Admission by donation.


“Mud Season Motown Madness,” community dance at Fairlee Town Hall auditorium, Saturday night at 7. Admission by donation.

■English sword-dancing workshop and tryout for Maple Leaf Morris/Rare Earth Rapper team for teens, Sunday at Richard W. Black Center in Hanover. Workshop with instructor/choreographer Gillian Stewart runs 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by tryout. Bring shoes with clean soles. To learn more, email jfinlay26@gmail.com

Bar and club circuit

Royalton singer-songwriter Alison “AliT” Turner, Thursday night at 6 at Peyton Place restaurant in Orford; Friday night at 7 at Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville; Sunday afternoon at 2 at Trout River Brewing Company in Springfield, Vt.

■The Repeat Offenders, rock and pop, Thursday night at 7 at Windsor Station; River Frog, roots rock, Friday night at 9:30; saxophonist Mike Parker and keyboardist John Lovejoy, jazz and soul, Tuesday night at 6.

■Singer-songwriter Christine Malcolm with Chris Lyon, Friday night at 7 at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover.

■The Party Crashers, rock and pop, Friday night at 8 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland.

■Singer-songwriter Seth Fernandes, Friday night at 9 at Margaritas restaurant in Lebanon.

■Chris Powers, rock, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon; singer-songwriter Tad Dreis, Saturday afternoon at 4.

■Singer-storyteller Doug Lantz, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

■Joe Mitchell, rock, Friday night at 9 at Salt hill Pub in Newport; Alec Currier, rock, Saturday night at 9.

■The Bears, rock and pop, Saturday night at 6 at Farmer’s Table in Grantham.

■Guitarist Ted Mortimer, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at Woodstock Inn’s Richardson Tavern.

■Jim Yeager, rock/funk, Monday night at 7 at Woodstock Inn’s Richardson Tavern.

■ Trifolium, folk trio of Justin Park, Chloe Powell and Andy Mueller, Wednesday night at 6 at Kedron Valley Inn’s Ransom Tavern in South Woodstock.

■Jazz pianist Sonny Saul, Wednesday night at 6:30 at On the River Inn in Woodstock.

Open mics

Jim Yeager hosts open mics Thursday night at 7 at ArtisTree Community Arts Center’s Hayloft in South Pomfret, at The Public HousePub in Quechee on Tuesday night at 6 and at Skunk Hollow Tavern on Wednesday night at 8.

■Flew-Z frontman Alec Currier’s weekly open-mic at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon, Thursday night at 8.

■Weekly acoustic jam session on Friday night at 6:30, at BALE Commons.

■Joe Stallsmith’s weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass, Monday night at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

■Fiddler Jakob Breitbach’s weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music, Tuesday night at 7 at Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

■Tom Masterson hosts Tuesday nights at 7 at Colatina Exit in Bradford, Vt.

■Rural Outright hosts monthly open mic, Wednesday night at 6 at Claremont MakerSpace. Admission free.

Looking ahead

Timbre Drums, percussion and dance workshop and performance, March 23 at Eclipse Grange Theatre on Thetford Hill. Workshop runs 1 to 3 p.m., and costs $20 to $25 per student. Students perform at 4; admission by donation. To register for workshop and learn more, email linda@lyme.com or call 802-785-4344.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Send entertainment news to highlights@vnews.com.