From Ashes to New Ignite Minneapolis

Line Up - Ekoh, Catch Your Breath, The Word Alive, From Ashes to New

Ekoh - wrapping up his set at Varsity in Minneapolis Monday night

Solo artist, Ekoh, brought the heat to a nearly sold out show at the Varsity on a Monday night. Accompanied by a drummer and DJ, it was quite the opening set.

Normally opening acts don't draw much of a crowd at the Varsity but my goodness this place was packed wall to wall and gave it up for Ekoh!

A 9 song set capped off by fans throwing their Vans sneakers on stage for him to sign was a fun ending to an energetic opening set.

I was impressed by Ekoh’s breath and crowd control as an opener. His DJ provided back up vocals and added another element to his set which I thought was a nice touch. A couple typical DJ horns were added in for good measure.

A stand out part of Ekoh's set was his latest single, "hole in my head". A genre bending rap/rock track that hits hard live.

Make sure to catch Ekoh when he comes through your city for sure. He'll turn you into a fan if you're not already!

Catch Your Breath

The 4 piece picked up right where Ekoh left off.

Tons of energy, crazy vocal control and a great mix of screaming and clean vocals during their set. A set in which features a collab. from the opener Ekoh which really got the crowd into their set.

A power packed 7 song set was exactly what I wanted from these guys. I've seen them on social media and always loved hearing the snippets of their songs when I came across them. They lived up to my expectations.

Sprinkling some heavy screams in their set was impressive from lead vocalist, Joshua Mowery. He handled the tough set like a champ and I loved every minute of it.

Topping off their awesome performance was their crowd favorite songs, "21 gun salute" and their finale song "dial tone" which absolutely crushed live.

These guys were great. Such a fun set! I was told by another photographer that these guys were just in town a few months ago and their improvement was drastically noticeable from that set to the one tonight. Granted I wasn't there for that set but my goodness these guys rock live.

Safe to say that I'd love to see and shoot these guys again. Be sure to check them out when they come through your city!

The Word Alive

As with every band closer to the headliner the stage production gets better and better. Let me tell you, The Word Alive's production was top notch.

From ego risers, getting the band a couple feet higher than normal, to moving / spinning strobe lights, lined up on a spinning fixture to brilliantly timed cryo as well. Such a cool experience!

Telle and the rest of the band were awesome as always.

Not being backed by Luke Holland on drums their drummer had big shoes to fill and man did he. Crisp and clean throughout.

Telle's vocals were on FULL display tonight. A surprise moment for me was the 25 second scream to finish the song "trapped".

That was truly insane.

The crowd control, vocal stamina and stage production make The Word Alive a MUST SEE anytime they're in town.

TWA's set included 5 songs from their latest album, "Hard Reset" which includes one of my all time favorite songs, "Slow Burn" which was played midway through their 9 song set. Capped off by their massive single "New Reality" with just shy of 3 million listens on Spotify alone. This was an awesome ending to a stellar set preparing for the headliner to come out just shortly there after.

Wrapping things up - Lead vocalist Telle, ended the show saying they'd "see us next year". Hopefully reading between the lines, it might be a safe bet to see TWA in the Twin Cities very soon.

Side Note -  Telle came out after the show and shook my hand thanking me for rocking out with them. He pointed at me mid set head banging and loving the set side stage next to the photo pit.

It was there where I got to tell him my appreciation for their music, thank them for coming to town and wish them safe travels along the way. Safe to say that truly made my night.

Class act these guys.

From Ashes to New

These guys have all the energy in the world on stage.

With the whole band dawning all black in support of their latest album "Blackout", From Ashes to New showed Minnesota on a Monday night how to absolutely rip.

Both vocalists came out swinging after a theatric opening minute with a video game themed intro. A nice touch.

They brought cryo, 2 massive video boards atop one the drummer sat all night, and crushed it behind the kit. The drummer wasn't alone, with room for both guitarists, one on either side, to visit and add another element to the show. Their production also included a handful of additional moving head light fixtures that selfishly provided some awesome photos. (see gallery)

With frequent small breaks in the set, one could assume for water breaks and a breather, it brought the anticipation up a notch each time for the crowd who cheered each time the band came back out on stage.

A heartfelt talk from co-lead singer Danny, brought the crowd together midway through the set, talking about love and finding someone who understands you and being in bad relationships for way too long.

A few songs later, co-lead vocalist and rapper, Matt spoke to the crowd, calling a few fans out specifically and recalling personal details from their past meetings with the band. One in particular was someone who was front row, who'd been a fan for over 10 years, from 14 to 24 years old. Another was a fan who liked baseball, Matt made a comment about how they talked during the VIP Meet & Greet about their favorite teams and about how he knows he'll play for them one day. Never to quit.

This was a really cool moment that brought the crowd together yet again during the show as a family no matter their beliefs, gender, ETC

Noticing a common theme of the night?


From suspense movie themed scores to interactive graphics on the video screens and crowd controlling anthems, this was definitely a show to remember.

The moving lights and strobe effects kept pushing the intensity of their set.

Both vocalists were powerful, and demanding for what they wanted from the crowd. Which they ate up. From a screaming match on both sides of the crowd to a full venue "down to the floor, jump on 3" moment, and frequent arms waving side to side throughout the show.

Their 2 song encore wrapped up the set with a metal rendition of Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is you" backed by a blue and red light show and Christmas themed video.  To be honest, this was pretty funny at first, a metal version of the world famous Christmas song, but seeing the guys rip so hard made sure I was head banging by the end of it no doubt about that.

Finally, wrapping up an hour long, 16 song set was a bass drop heavy "through it all". The band's first ever single, released back in 2015 that has accrued over 52 million streams on Spotify alone.

It's clear that Minneapolis loves From Ashes to New, and they, it.

These guys came to party and it showed.