There’s a lot to love about live music in Texas, and Houston’s Scout Bar, located just between Houston and Galveston, recently hosted From Ashes To New’s Still Panicking Tour.  A band that knows how to put on a show, From Ashes To New’s jam-packed lineup includes incredible bands from across the world. For Houston fans, it was a feast of Nu and Alt Metal, as well as Post-Hardcore and Rap-Metal. Scout Bar is well known for its menu of both tribute and metal bands, so this lineup was not out of their norm, but it did offer delights to both the eyes and ears that are seen more often at larger, more infamous venues. To say it was a surprisingly wonderful evening is an understatement.


First to take the stage was Above Snakes. A relatively new creation, this Boston-based band consists of four members, all of whom pull an equal and incredible amount of weight to make rock magic. Lead singer Johnny Skulls entertained the crowd while he sang, twisting and throwing his long, multi-colored braids in the air. His larger-than-life stage presence was neatly supported by Dax Dabs on guitar, Tom Linnane on bass, and Michael Shane on drums. Fans were completely entertained by the foursome, and I expect we will be seeing more of them very soon.


Above Snakes:

Johnny Skulls: Lead Vocals

Dax Dabs: Guitar

Tom Linnane: Bass

Michael Shane: Drums





1. Adrenaline

2. Nothing To Lose

3. Never Alone

4. Living The Nightmare

5. The Broken Ones


The second band to appear on stage was Kingdom Collapse. I’ve been watching Kingdom Collapse since my own days in San Antonio where the band calls home, and although they’ve always been really good, this particular formation is absolutely crushing it. The pandemic era solidified their fan base, who rallied by contacting radio stations nationwide and demanding KC’s music be aired. In the end, it worked; their song “Unbreakable” hit the number one spot on Sirus XM’s Octane show with Jose Mangin. Now that they are back on the road, their base can be seen following them around the countryside.  They pride themselves on the fact that they remain unsigned by a label, yet have garnered acclaim on the national music scene. It’s pretty impressive, and I’m really happy to see their hard work recognized.  Actually, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of guys. Although powerful and in control on stage, lead singer and songwriter Jonathan Norris is the guy you’ll find wandering the crowd before the show, joking around and talking to friends and fans alike. I noticed this of the other band members, too.  Just a great group of guys who have insane talent. In fact, I have their music on regular rotation for my workouts. I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating: This is the band to watch, because every song they write and perform is destined to be a hit.


Kingdom Collapse:

Jonathan Norris: Lead Vocals

Elijah Santucci: Drums

David Work: Guitar

Aaron Smith: Bass






1. Uprise

2. Payback

3. Save Me From Myself

4. Bring Me Down

5. Suffer

6. Unbreakable


The surprise of the evening came with Blind Channel, a post-hardcore band hailing from Oulu, Finland. Blind Channel is the kind of band you need to see in person to fully absorb. In fact, I advise you to put your phone away while watching them, because they demand your full attention. Let me say this again: You’ll need keen use of all your faculties in order to catch everything that goes on while they perform. Lead singers Joel Hokka and Niko Vilhelm take turns on vocals, while bassist Ollie Matela and Guitarist Joonas Porko dash about the space feverishly, quickly changing places and popping up on opposite ends of the stage, while also supporting on vocals. All this is happening while strobes flash on and off, and lighting rapidly changes both in color and shape. If you don’t watch closely, you’re likely to lose track of one or more performers in the blink of an eye. I watched and listened closely, and I don’t think they missed a beat through it all, and if they did, oh well – it was a wild ride! Their amazing energy (and I’m not talking just regular stage energy – these guys were absolutely energized!) is something I won’t forget. Although I’ve never seen them before, I won’t miss the opportunity to see them again – they’re that fun to watch.


Blind Channel:

Joel Hokka: Vocals

Niko Vilhelm: Vocals

Ollie Matela: Bass

Tommi Lalli: Drums

Aleksi Mattson: Samples, Percussion

Joonas Porko: Guitar






1. Balboa

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


Fire From The Gods was the second Texas-based band on the evening’s bill. Formed in 2007 in Austin, this rap-metal band signed with Eleven Seven Music, who represents bands Papa Roach and Five Finger Death Punch, in 2019. This has been a good thing for the band. Texans will see more of them on the national stage, and fans will be given the opportunity to indulge in their music more often. Lead singer A.J. Channer is well-loved, as was evident by the cheers of support for him as he appeared on stage. After his first two songs, he got down into the crowd, asking them to sing along to “Voiceless” with him. The remainder of the set was like a family reunion; the crowd singing along to each song while A.J. talked to and joked with them. Woven together, Fire From The Gods’ musicality, familiarity, and humble on-stage presence made for a soulful performance by this beloved Texas band.


Fire From The Gods:

Drew Walker: Guitar

Bonner Baker: Bass

James Teat: Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals

Richard Wicander: Drums

AJ Channer: Lead Vocals





1. Another Level

2. Truth to the Weak (Not Built to Collapse)

3. The Voiceless

4. In Spite of Doubt

5. American Sun

6. Fight the World

7. Composition

8. Victory

9. Right Now

10. Excuse Me


After what seemed like a short wait, and the band everyone came to see, From Ashes To New, hit the stage. As the music started, vocalists Danny Case and Matt Brandyberry blasted onto the stage to the opening tune “Panic”, and the crowd returned their energy by singing, dancing and cheering. The relief from two long years of the frustration and anxiety from the pandemic was palpable to everyone in the room. Live music has truly returned when bands like FATN are on the road. “Panic” is from the 2020 album of the same name, and the song, along with the entire setlist, had amazing lighting, pyrotechnics and special effects not seen frequently in smaller venues. This is truly a show of epic proportion, and one you’ll need to catch quickly, as few shows (and even fewer tickets) remain. For those of you planning to go, I won’t spoil it, but you’ll be treated to hard rock, the beautiful voices and lyrics of both Case and Brandyberry, as well as a short and beautiful acoustic set. The performance was masterful, beautiful, electrifying, and in the end, a wonderful release of two long years of tension and anxiety.

At the end of the night, fans left the venue both exhausted and exhilarated. FATN band members (along with band members from the opening lineup) were kind enough to stick around and talk with fans, take pictures and thank everyone for coming to the show. I’m sure that the entire FATN family are as grateful to be on the road performing for the fans, as the fans are to see them.


From Ashes To New:

Danny Case: Vocals

Matt Brandyberry: Rap Vocals, Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar

Lance Dowdle: Guitar, Bass

Mat Madiro: Drums





  1. Panic

2. My Fight

3. Enough

4. Broken

5. Light Up the Sky

6. My Name

7. Breaking Now

8. Lost and Alone

9. Scars That I’m Hiding

10. Stay This Way

11. Wait For Me

12. Nothing

13. Crazy


14. Bring Me to Life (Evanescence cover)

15. Through It All





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