Motley Crue performed their first concert without guitarist Mick Mars, and John 5 stepped in as their new touring guitarist at a show in Atlantic City. John 5 confidently took the stage, gesturing to the audience to get loud before starting the riff for “Wild Side.” Throughout the performance, he added unique twists and solos to Mars’ guitar parts while remaining faithful to the original renditions.
Nikki Sixx introduced John 5 to the crowd during the show, and the guitarist had a solo spot to kick off the group’s cover song medley. Tommy Lee praised his new bandmate later in the set.
“And this motherfucker right here, 5… dude, it sounds beautiful baby!”
This show was one of two intimate theater shows that Motley Crue played this weekend along with Def Leppard before embarking on their 2023 world tour as co-headliners. Def Leppard opened the show with a strong 90-minute set and will be headlining the second show.
After Mick Mars played his final show with Motley Crue during their summer 2022 tour with Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett, he announced his retirement from touring due to his ongoing battle with Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Despite his retirement, Mars will still remain a part of Motley Crue, which he co-founded in 1981. The next day, Motley Crue revealed that they had chosen John 5, known for working with David Lee Roth and Rob Zombie, as Mars’ replacement on stage.
“He checks all the boxes,” Nikki Sixx explained. “He’s [an] insane player. Has respect for our music, is funny as fuck and has history with us and we’ve written some pretty big hits together.”
Previously, Nikki Sixx and John 5 collaborated on three original Motley Crue songs that were included in the soundtrack for the 2019 Netflix adaptation of The Dirt, these songs being “The Dirt (Est. 1981),” “Ride With the Devil,” and “Crash and Burn.”
In 2023, both Motley Crue and Def Leppard have a packed schedule with tours in Latin America and Europe, followed by several stadium performances in America, with Alice Cooper serving as the opening act.
First @john5guitarist solo @MotleyCrue pic.twitter.com/3mMIkdZdkd
— Christina (@xtina_nicolette) February 11, 2023