Concert review: Saint Asonia w/ Kingdom Collapse and Fivefold | 05.17.24, Red Flag (with photo gallery)

Photo of Saint Asonia’s Adam Gontier by Colin Williams

Saint Asonia is a rock music supergroup that was never meant to be, yet it was an absolute inevitability when rock icons Adam Gontier and Mike Mushok sat down to write music together in 2014. After leaving the wildly successful Canadian rock band Three Days Grace over “creative differences,” Gontier took off on brief solo endeavors before connecting with lead guitarist Mike Mushok of Staind. Together, the two rock stars began creating rhythms and rhymes that quickly amassed into an entire record’s worth of material that could not be simply contained or brushed aside never to be recorded. The two men then enlisted the percussive talent of Rich Beddoe (former drummer of Finger Eleven) as well as bassist Corey Lowery (formerly of Dark New Day) to form an exciting new band that is now known as Saint Asonia. 

Since the inception of Saint Asonia, Mushok and Gontier have remained a constant leading force over the years despite lineup changes as the band has released two studio albums and as many EPs. On the eve of Pointfest 2024, Saint Asonia, alongside Texas native hard rock band Kingdom Collapse and our very own St. Louis rock group Fivefold, damn-near blew the roof off of Red Flag in downtown St. Louis.  

Opening the night was St. Louis natives Fivefold, a metal band formed in 2007 by a group of ambitious Midwestern teens. Despite tragedies and hiatuses, the band has released three albums: The Story in 2012, Open Letter in 2015, and an extensive 16-track album in 2023 titled FILL IN THE BLANK. The five-piece appeared rightfully at home on Red Flag’s stage, having several years of experience sharing stages with famous bands such as Buckcherry and Switchfoot. Ryan Cheney showcased his vocal range throughout the group’s set as he alternated between clean vocals and guttural screams. The band put their best foot forward and performed their most popular songs to date including their title track from their 2013 EP Hold On as well as “Lost Within” from The Story. Fivefold had several local fans in attendance and certainly gained some more well-deserved support before leaving the stage. 

Second to take the stage was San Antonio metalcore group Kingdom Collapse. This four-man band has an impressive collection of singles as well as two EPs since their formation in 2013. Kingdom Collapse checks all the boxes that create a successful modern rock band with deep chaotic riffs and powerful drum grooves. Kingdom Collapse has been riding their own auspicious wave in recent years with singles such as “Unbreakable,” “Save Me from Myself,” and “Uprise,” receiving commendable streaming time and circulating on SiriusXM Octane. Frontman Johnathan Norris leaned heavily into his unique screams while occasionally accepting shots of Jägermeister from the audience.  

Before the lights dimmed once more and the night’s headliner took the stage, a 105.7 The Point’s spokeswoman greeted the audience and doled out some free tickets to the highly anticipated Pointfest rock music festival the next day. Then, as quickly as she amped up the crowd for a weekend of great music and without further ado, the stage grew dark and Saint Asonia began the night’s main performance. 

Gontier wasted no time as he took to the stage and began Saint Asonia’s extensive sixteen-song set as the band opened with the first single from their 2022 EP Introvert, “Above It All.” Gontier was joined by his cousin (now Saint Asonia bassist) Cale Gontier, as well as Cody Watkins on drums. Mushok was notably absent to the astute Saint Asonia fan, with touring guitarist Tavis Stanley filling the role of lead guitarist as he has many times in the past due to touring conflicts with Staind. (Mushok’s other band will be playing with Breaking Benjamin at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on October 1.) With minimal interruption between songs, Saint Asonia captivated their audience as the four-piece group powered through four additional Saint Asonia original tracks “Beast,” “Better Place,” “Bite the Bullet,” and “The Hunted.” 

The band maintained the crowd’s full attention, not only through their great setlist and explosive energy, but also by generously showering the audience with guitar picks. This of course kept the group’s guitar tech hurriedly shuffling back onto the stage between songs to refill Gontier’s pick holster. Perhaps as frustrated as he was sly, the stagehand took an opportunity to stick a guitar pick on Gontier’s forehead without him noticing. Gontier unwittingly wore said guitar pick for a significant portion of his next song before realizing the joke and appeared to have taken the humor in stride.  

After the first five songs original to Saint Asonia, Gontier mentioned his years with his former band Three Days Grace and requested the audience sing along with him as he covered “Never Too Late,” from Three Days Grace’s second studio album One-X (2006). It is an undeniable fact that Gontier’s unique metallic vocals were significantly impactful to the early success of his former band. Although Three Days Grace has continued to achieve commercial success with a new frontman, both bands have seemingly embraced one another and maintain amicable ties. Saint Asonia continued to cover additional nostalgic songs from Three Days Grace’s extensive list of hits such as “Riot,” “I Hate Everything About You,” as well as Gontier’s collaboration track with Apocalyptica “I Don’t Care.” Saint Asonia even performed their rendition of pop music hit single “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, featured in their latest EP Extrovert, released in 2022.  

As avid rock music fans undoubtedly began to lose their voices and the night grew late, Saint Asonia circled back to their original material to close out the night with two hit singles, starting with “Devastate” from their EP Extrovert then “Let Me Live My Life” from their eponymous 2015 record. Saint Asonia began as an amalgamation band that was stitched together by passionate rock music talents with diverse inspirations and creative ideas. Gontier and his accompanying bandmates appeared just as enthusiastic to perform for fewer than a thousand fans in attendance Friday night as they are selling out stadium shows. Saint Asonia at Red Flag can only be described as a badass way to ring in a weekend of rock music in St. Louis, MO, hosted by 105.7 The Point on the eve of Pointfest 2024. | Colin Williams

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