By Sean Claes
For the first time in 2018, I walked through the doors of Austin's Come and Take It Live... and for the first time in a much longer time I was there to see a road show. Four bands, none of them from Austin. I was invited to the show by the publicist for From Ashes To New (Lancaster, PA) who was opening for 10 Years (Knoxville, TN) whom, ironically, formed 19 years ago. Rounding the band out was To Whom It May (Galveston, TX) and Broken Valor (Houston, TX)
The atmosphere was perfect for this line-up of rock/melodic metal bands. Surveying the crowd, it was pretty nice to see a diverse and mixed age bunch of folks. There was your old-school metal heads standing alongside a new "Xs on their hands" breed of live music fans.
First up was Broken Valor. They came out the gate hard with a sound that was straight-forward barroom metal. Vocalist Kelly Allbright commanded the stage like a seasoned pro.
|To Whom It May|
Next up was To Whom It May ('I' III I III). Got to love a band that comes in with the Willie Wonka “Wondrous Boat Ride” audio playing in the background. Lead vocalist Jonathon Jourdon surprised me when he had a voice that didn’t match his metaltastic beard. Kind of a Layne Staley meets Robert Plant tinge to the vocals... in the best way possible. The music was a melodic metal groove that built up throughout their set and and peaked with the final song, which I believe was called "Signal Fire."
|From Ashes To New|
The already crowded club (really packed for a Tuesday night) seemed to double in size when From Ashes To New hit the stage. These guys are one of the most high energy bands I’ve witnessed live in a while. The songs were great and they owned the crowd from the first strum to the last bass drum kick. The combination of lead vocalist Danny Case's emo-infused rock combined with the flows of rapper Matt Brandyberry made for some solid tunes.
The mentioned that this was the first time playing Austin since they came though during SXSW in 2015 and I think Austin approved. They can come back anytime. Perhaps as a headliner next time?
Come And Take It Live was standing-room only when headliners 10 Years hit the stage. This tour was in support of their 2018 release (how to live) AS GHOSTS which is the band's 8th release since they formed in 1999. The ambient hard rock the band performed was great and the crowd was in tune with each lick.
Over-all this was a great line-up of music and for those who braved the Tuesday night air to catch a show... we were all rewarded. Come and Take It Live is such a great venue and I'm so glad there's a mid-sized place in Austin to host great local acts as well as road shows like this one. Credit goes to owner Anthony Stevenson for keeping the metal alive in the ATX. It's also nice to make a right off IH-35 to Riverside to catch a rock show again.