The mighty AVATAR from Gothenburg, Sweden…They are easily one of my favorite bands to see live and listen to on albums. It’s hard to believe they have been around for 20 years. Each record has a flavor of its own, and they don’t fit into a single genre of music, except the broad category of “Metal.” Some songs are heavy metal, others are melodic and stick in your head for days, while others are transcendent, and then there is everything in between.
The night kicked off with the openers from Boise, ID, MAGIC SWORD. The electronic trio wore capes and masks with different colors. The set was pretty dark most of the time; the only color and light was peering from their masks. The band has an interesting backstory and mythical tale on the formation of what is MAGIC SWORD. The synthwave and pop-metal sounds are fun and have a little bit of DAFT PUNK mixed in. They are known for tracks featured in several video games and a Thor: Ragnarok trailer. Being from the NW, it’s neat seeing local bands that don’t “fit” their scene break out.
Next up was the mighty AVATAR. The lights focused on the stage with a little drum set near the edge of the stage. Slowly each member came out to a microphone with their instrument and formed a semi-circle front and center of the stage, peering over the crowd. They kicked into “Colossus” from their latest album Hunter Gatherer. The energy is a buzz in the room, all eyes on the stage. AVATAR’S isn’t just phenomenal music that speaks to the audience, but it is a spectacle to be seen in all the best ways. Frontman Johannes Eckerström dresses as a ringleader with face paint, and the energy he and the band exude has everyone smiling, singing, and headbanging. Johannes truly is the ringmaster of the audience.
I always love seeing them on tour. Once you catch them live, you become addicted to and spoiled by the group’s level of enthusiasm. I mean, there are even bubble machines going for a song and sing-alongs that make your escape from the world outside those doors that much sweeter. The set is about 90 minutes of wondrous metal that includes must-have fan favorites such as ”Let It Burn”, ”Paint me Red”, “Bloody Angel”, and concludes with ”Smells Like a Freakshow”, and ”Hail The Apocalypse.”
Typically here is where I tell you about upcoming stops on the tour and encourage you to go. However, that is not possible this time. The tour was set to wrap in Seattle, but unfortunately, Johannes tested positive for Covid-19. He is vaccinated and in good spirits. Please send him all the well wishes. AVATAR has assured us that they will return as soon as they can for more freakish fun.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: ERICA VINCENT PHOTOS