“From Ashes To New” Sounds The Panic Alarm At Ace Cafe In Orlando Florida, 04/03/22



April 3rd, 2022 signaled a return trip to one of my favorite venues, Ace Cafe, in order to catch From Ashes To New who were roaring through Florida on the their Still Panicking Tour. I was stoked that they chose Ace Cafe as their 2nd of their two Florida stops. I’ve shot several shows at the Ace Cafe and knew what to expect. The morning of the show I felt a little apprehension set in as I realized that the show was going to be on the inside stage. All my experiences at the Ace had been at their backyard stage and now I had no idea what to look forward to. As a result, I arrived early so that I would have time to figure things out. I paid the $20 parking fee, then I attempted to find out how to pick up my photo pass. Having no luck, I joined the others in line. After an hour and 10 minutes, well after the VIP ticket holders had already entered, I was able to inch closer to the doors. An announcement was made that if anyone wanted to pay a $10 upgrade, they would be allowed to enter immediately, which was about 20 minutes early. Not looking to add another $10 to my expenses, I opted to wait. Finally, I made it inside and made my way to the stage. I was overjoyed to find a small pit!



First up was active rock/nu metal band Above Snakes. I had been bingeing on the snakes’ most recent video “The Broken Ones” and their live performance of their newest single did not disappoint. High-spirited singer Johnny Skulls was amped up and his trademark multi-colored dreads whipped about wildly. The snakes rocked hard and it’s tough to believe that their debut single,”Adrenaline ,” was released just 2 short years ago. The guys nailed “Nothing To Lose” and the energy that was expelled flowed freely throughout the crowd. This is definitely a band I want to see more of. I knew the sets were going to be abbreviated which is normal when there are 5 or more bands on a bill. There are still chances to see Above Snakes live so don’t let these serpents slither through your town without checking them out.



Above Snakes:

Johnny Skulls: Lead Vocals

Dax Dabs: Guitar

Tom Linnane: Bass

Michael Shane: Drums





2.Nothing To Lose

3.Never Alone

4.Living The Nightmare

5.The Broken Ones


There wasn’t much time between sets as the crews were on their A-game. Kingdom Collapse is a metalcore band that hails from San Antonio Texas.  The band prides itself on being able to give a voice to those going through difficulties and issues in life. My 1st impression was that these dudes are down to earth. Prior to the set, drummer Elijah Santucci could be seen walking about in the crowd. I love it when artists/band members make themselves accessible to the fans. These fiery Texans hit the stage and never looked back. With vocalist Jonathan Norris front and center, the set was fast and furious. With songs like “Uprise” and “Suffer” the band was successfully stirring up the exuberant crowd. I really love Kingdom Collapse’s straight forward and powerful sound and their newest video release, “Save Me From Myself”, is a prime example of that. The band concluded the set with their 2021 hit “Unbreakable.” As a fellow Texan I am familiar with the saying “everything is bigger in Texas” and when it comes to Kingdom Collapse’s sound and energy nothing could be more accurate. Be sure to follow them on social media (links down below).


Kingdom Collapse:

Jonathan Norris: Lead Vocals

Elijah Santucci: Drums

David Work: Guitar

Aaron Smith: Bass







3.Save Me From Myself

4.Bring Me Down




One of my favorite things about covering live music is when you stumble across a band or artist that really piques your interest and then they live up to every expectation when you see them perform. Blind Channel is a post-hardcore sextet from Oulu Finland who describe their style as “violent pop.” I’ve heard of all types of genres, but this was a first for me. Needless to say, I began streaming them continuously for the last few days and now the bar had been set pretty high. From the second they made their appearance, the stage became a whirlwind of perpetual motion. Joel Hokka and Niko Vilhelm alternated vocals throughout the performance while the rest of the band remained dialed in and in sync. The guys absolutely crushed “Over My Dead Body” which is my favorite. During the performance of their newest release, “Bad Idea” the crowd was asked to use their phones to light up the venue and they were more than happy to oblige. “Left Outside Alone” had the crowd moving and then they closed things out with their hit “Dark Side,” a song that won them 6th place in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. Blind Channel made a point to say how much they loved being in the United States and that they would definitely return. At the beginning of this review, I mentioned that my expectations of this band were pretty high and I’m happy to say they were met. Do not sleep on Blind Channel, trust me you’ll be missing out.


Blind Channel:

Joel Hokka: Vocals

Niko Vilhelm: Vocals

Ollie Matela: Bass

Tommi Lalli: Drums

Aleksi Mattson: Samples, Percussion

Joonas Porko: Guitar






2.Died Enough For You

3.We Are No Saints

4.Over My Dead Body

5.Bad Idea

6.Left Outside Alone

7.Dark Side


On deck was a rap metal band that also calls the Lone Star State home. Fire From The Gods (FFTG) rose from the ashes in 2007 and has evolved into a band that is not only passionate about its music but also the messages behind it. Those messages are evident in songs such as “American Sun” and “Fight The World.” If the crowd has been simmering up to this point, they were now boiling over. Vocalist AJ Channer’s ability to connect and motivate the crowd was obvious from the get-go and the support he received from his bandmates was remarkable. Co- founding member and guitarist Drew Walker was infallible while his counterpart, bassist Bonner Baker, provided the thunder. Channer took a moment to express how he hates all politicians. He went on to say that he only wants people to respect his right to exist and that he believes in “equality and justice for all.” Channer also gave a shoutout to all military personnel and first responders which I thought was ultra-cool. FFTG is a band that resonates with the common everyday person and that is the aim of their music. FFTG chose to close the set with the powerful hit “Excuse Me.” Fire From The Gods advocates change by working together, not through violence. As long as the world as we know it continues to exist, I’m sure we can expect FFTG to make their kind of music, not only the kind that we love but the kind that we need.


Fire From The Gods:

Drew Walker: Guitar

Bonner Baker: Bass

James Teat: Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals

Richard Wicander: Drums

AJ Channer: Lead Vocals





As the clock kept pushing forward it was finally time for the night’s main event. From Ashes To New (FATN) is no stranger to Orlando. They were scheduled to be a part of the Rebel Rock Festival last year. The 4-day festival was cancelled without warning after the 1st day. FATN was already in town and was able to wrangle up a few bands, locate a venue, Ace Cafe, and put together a free pop-up event for the fans that were left out in the cold after the cancellation. Orlando hasn’t forgotten and neither have the fans. It was those fans that packed Ace Cafe tonight, wanting to show their appreciation and enjoy some great music.



FATN took the stage by storm and erupted into their 2020 release “Panic.” Danny Case and Matt Brandyberry share lyrical duties but come together as one cohesive unit. Guitarist Lance Dowdle played with nefarious intent, all while sporting a ninja-like ensemble that included a black and orange tactical vest and a black neck gaiter.  The pit erupted as the band kicked out all of their favorites. Brandberry brought things back to a serious level when he mentioned the band’s previous date in Orlando and the fans immediately responded with a resounding chant of “fuck Rebel Rock.” He went on to say that he hated when fans were taken advantage of. He also said that if anyone here had to pay $20 to park their car, it was “fucking bullshit.” Brandberry also said that if he comes to your town and sees “that shit” happening he was going to be the 1st person to “call that shit out.” By looking around I could tell that everyone in attendance appreciated those heartfelt comments. 


From there the band went right into “My Name” and the fans went nuts. Hit after hit followed including “Crazy“, “Scars That I’m Hiding” and “Nothing.” Drummer Mat Madiro set the pace for this explosive set atop his elevated perch. The band closed things out with their mega-hit “Through It All.”  FATN have been around for less than 10 years, but you would never know it. These guys are as grounded as you can get and have seemingly figured it all out already. With their talent and humble persona, their potential is limitless. When I stepped back and looked at it, I was amazed at how they were able to assemble four other bands that aligned perfectly with themselves. I’m a FATN fan for life. Don’t be afraid to call things out that aren’t right and definitely don’t hesitate to speak up for those that can’t or won’t. Life’s too short. There is still time to catch the Still Panicking Tour so check your calendars and please follow all of these awesome bands online.


From Ashes To New:

Danny Case: Vocals

Matt Brandyberry: Rap Vocals, Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar

Lance Dowdle: Guitar, Bass

Mat Madiro: Drums





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