You wouldn’t normally think of Mondays as a night to go out and see a concert, but no one told the capacity crowd at the House of Blues. I have been a casual fan of Avatar since 2018, when I fist heard their album Avatar Country and saw their videos online. The group hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden is hard to fit into a single category of music, ranging from power metal to radio friendly singles that you would find on your local contemporary station.
The one thing that stands out most about Avatar is their showmanship and they have that down to a science. Lead Vocalist, Johannes Eckerström, literally wears his emotions on his face and dresses the part of circus ringleader and court jester at the same time to help bring everyone into the shared space the band has created for itself. There were many people in attendance that mimicked the face paint and dress of the band and many wore shirts showing their “citizenship” of Avatar Country, a sort of fan club meets social media gathering place for fans of the band.
As the show started each member came out to a microphone with their respective instrument and formed a semi-circle front and center of the stage. They kicked into “Colossus” off their latest album and this would be the calmest it would be for the next 90 minutes.
The band let themselves loose and the energy, excitement, and craziness started to blend to form a torrent of euphoria that I have seldom seen at a show as of late. People were jumping and singing along to every word the band put forth. The head banging and frantic energy from the stage was contagious and you found yourself taking part whether you knew the words or not.
The ever present fantasy element of the show never felt forced like it does with so many other bands that wear face paint or dress in costumes. The vibe was that everyone was part of Avatar Country. The band continued moving through their better known songs like “A Statue of the King,” “The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country,” and their latest single, “Gone Hunting”.
Overall, the show was amazing to see and hear. The energy level never dissipated and the band never took their foot off the gas pedal. This is definitely a band that I see moving up to play larger and larger venues in the next few years as they presented a polished package of exemplary music, showmanship, and fan interaction throughout the evening.
– Robb Miller