Story and Photos: Spencer Fleming
From Ashes to New hit the Bourbon in Lincoln on Tuesday (3/15) on the "Still Panicking" tour and it was a marathon of music including Fire From the Gods, Blind Channel, Kingdom Collapse, and Above Snakes.
If you walked away and felt like you still didn't get your money's worth, you might need to have your head checked. Every band brought the heat and got the crowd whipped into a frenzy. Huge shout to 104.1 The Blaze for putting on this show.
The first band on the bill, Above Snakes was killer. They had a fun bounce and brought the party vibes. Looking at vocalist Johnny Skulls and his colorful dreads you might think they would sound like the band Dope or Static-X, but they reminded me of a band from like a rave scene out of the 90s movie Hackers. Strong hip hop beats over crunchy guitars with quick flow rhymes and melodic choruses.
I got to talk to Johnny Skulls after the set and reminisce about Super Nintendo, great Chicago sports teams, and when the Huskers were in their prime (sorry to bring up such a painful subject, haha). Above Snakes has a handful of songs on Spotify ready for your listening pleasure.
Next up was the band Kingdom Collapse from Texas. These guys are making some moves right now! I caught the band back in November with Saul at The Waiting Room in Omaha. At the time their song "Unbreakable" was riding at the top of the "Big Uns" chart on Sirius Octane radio. Fast forward a few months and their brand new single "Save Me From Myself" has already made it to the "Big Uns" chart again!
You're probably thinking "They must have a really great record label and marketing team backing them". Nope! They're completely independent. I seriously have so much respect for what these guys are doing out here. They're on the road constantly just building their fan base one person at a time. I saw them in Omaha in November and then they played the 1867 Bar in Lincoln in January, and now they're on this crazy tour package with From Ashes to New.
This is how it's done people! Grinding it out and building an empire one show after another. Make sure you're following Kingdom Collapse on all their socials so you can catch them next time they're in Omaha or Lincoln. Knowing how hard they tour I'm sure it will be sooner than you think.
After Kingdom Collapse ripped the stage it was time for the band Blind Channel from Finland. Before the show I saw several people commenting that this was the band to watch out for. This got me really pumped, but I waited to hear the music live rather than run to Spotify.
My brother Scott and I watched as the band was setting up their gear and we saw a scruffy emo guy setting up a laptop and what looked like a mini DJ station. I told Scott "Oh yea, it's going down. Here comes the Euro-power metal". Blind Channel stepped out and erupted with energy. I was pretty spot on with the Euro-metal prediction. They were loud and heavy, but had an air of synth pop and melody.
Lead singer Joel told the crowd in a thick accent how they had come all the way from Finland and that they were excited to be in Nebraska for the first time. The crowd responded by going wild and screaming along. It was an awesome sight to see. I hope they can do a U.S. run again soon!
Next was a band I had been wanting to catch for a long time, Fire From the Gods. I had heard about the band on the Jasta Show Podcast when they were touring together with Hatebreed on the Warped Tour. Jamey Jasta said they were a band to watch and ever since I've been hoping to see them.
Fire From The Gods showed up ready to blast the crowd with heavy riffs, pounding drums, and slick metalcore choruses. Over the next 45 minutes the band tore the house down, setting the bar extremely high for From Ashes to New.
During the last break I talked with the guys in Kingdom Collapse, ran around talking to fans, and even took a photo of one fan with Above Snakes.
After the final intermission I took my place in the pit ready to capture the final band From Ashes to New. Animal from 104.1 The Blaze stepped out to thank the crowd for coming and talked about how From Ashes to New has risen through the ranks over the years. "They started as the openers, moved their way to the middle of the bill and now here they are on the top! All of this couldn't be done without your support so we thank you!"
The smoke billowed across the stage and soon the band ran across the stage bouncing with energy. Jumping right into their hit "Panic" the crowd went nuts. Everyone pushed forward to sing along and grab a pic of the heart throb singer Danny Chase, the bad boy guitarist Lance Dowdle, and mysterious rap-rocker Matt Brandyberry.
The next song "My Fight" borrowed heavily from the Linkin Park style of rap flows over guitar crunches followed by a clean vocal chorus. Like many of the songs played throughout the night, there was a constant theme of overcoming obstacles and pushing forward towards self-improvement. Though the music comes across as heavy and angry, the lyrics present a different story for those willing to take a closer listen. All of the bands on the bill carried a flag of positivity and hope for the future.
From Ashes to New played 15 songs in total including a spirited cover of "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence! After hanging through five bands I know I was wiped out by the end, but in the best way possible. I can't wait to do it all again at Knotfest in Omaha tomorrow. Maybe we'll catch you some of you there. Shout out to Eric Juhlin for spotting me in the pit during photos! If you see me or any of our team members out there, come say hi.
Big thanks to 104.1 The Blaze and The Bourbon Theatre.
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FROM ASHES TO NEW
FIRE FROM THE GODS
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