Los Angeles has shows every night, and some nights it can be a hard decision on which one to choose. Tonight was not one of those nights. AVATAR is a band I have caught on every US tour that they have done, and there is a reason for that. The Swedish metal act is a theatrical treat for the eyes, and the music will get anyone moving and singing along.
The set opens with “Glory To Our King” as guitarist Jonas Jarlsby is raised to the stage in a massive throne above drummer John Alfredsson. Outfitted with a royal red cape and golden crown, our King waves to his loyal subjects, but this only lasts for a few moments before shredding into what will be a night of metal! Singer Johannes Eckerström storms the stage with the next song, “Legend of the King.”
Eckerström has the audience under his spell, and they will remain his puppets for the rest of the evening. The 90-minute set includes fan favorites such as “Paint Me Red,” “Let It Burn,” “Smells Like a Freakshow,” “Bloody Angel,” and of course “Puppet Show” (See what I did there?) Guitarist Tim Öhrström shreds next to Jarlsby and Eckerström (go to see their on-stage shenanigans). Bassist and pretty boy, Henrik Sandelin shines during the deep bass parts of “Smells Like a Freakshow.”
The lights and the heavy and heart-filled music makes the night fly by, especially with Eckerström’s tales and bantering. I promise you’ll laugh and smile so large that your cheeks will hurt. How can this be topped? BUBBLES! I was happy to see the bubbles for the song “The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country,” and even the addition of a giant 20-foot disco ball! I would love to see anyone frown during all of this…
The bubbles stop, and our frontman Eckerström brings a thank you that could bring tears to your eyes. “Avatar citizens, tonight we all became family… And when I’m with family, I’m not afraid… Not afraid of the dark… Not afraid of anything… Including the inevitable end. All I can say is thank you and “Hail the Apocalypse”! AVATAR closes out the night with this final song; no encores are needed after such a wild and satisfying set.
“As His Royal Majesty the King returns to his mountain hall, he wishes to express his gratitude to everyone in what be the most fun tour yet!” A message posted to the band’s social media page, thanking the crew and fans for a wonderful tour. The Avatar Country tour is a wrap, but another one is on the horizon with BABYMETAL. If you haven’t seen AVATAR live yet, please catch them on this next run, I promise that they will quickly become one of your favorite bands onstage, and you too will never miss a tour that they do in the U.S.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: ERICA VINCENT PHOTOS