Review & Photos by: Greg Hamil
Date: September 17, 2021
Location: The Sylvee – Madison, WI
The long wait for live shows is finally over as Avatar brought their “Gone Hunting” tour to The Sylvee! With the need to finally burn off a lot of pent up energy, you could feel a buzz in the crowd before the doors were even open. Once inside, they were promptly rewarded for their long wait with a great set from nu-metal band Tallah. The only unfortunate news of the night was learning that the other act on the bill, Magic Sword would be unable to perform due to Covid-19.
Disappointment would turn to excitement very quickly as the lights dimmed and alarms started sounding! Avatar marches onstage in formation and stands there. After teasing the crowd for several minutes, dummer John Alfredsson comes to life with the opening beats to “Colossus”. The band stays in their formation and does the entire song as if they are robots. But as soon as the song ends, that would come to end.
Lead vocalist, Johannes Eckerstrom comes to life like a demented ringleader in a twisted carnival! He leads the crowd through Avatar’s 18-song set keeping everyone involved for the whole ride. Before the night is over, the band plays songs from their “Hunter Gatherer” album, as well as the hits everyone knows and loves from their previous 7 studio albums. Some of the songs include: “Paint Me Red”, “Let It Burn”, “Bloody Angel”, “The Eagle Has Landed”, and many more.
As the show comes to an end, there is a very brief pause before the band returns to the stage for a 3-song encore. After performing “Wormhole”, Johannes has a conversation with the crowd stating that, “If I have done my job tonight, and I know I did. We should find some common ground in terms of B.O.” At which point he sniffs his armpit and says, “this place SMELLS” and the crowd responds, “LIKE A FREAKSHOW”. At which point the band breaks into “Smells Like a Freakshow”. Any remaining energy after that is spent as Avatar ends the show with “Hail the Apocalypse”!
It is a good thing that Avatar was the headlining act on this night. Should any band have had to follow the energy and theatrics this band puts on, they would be hard-pressed to do as well. If you haven’t heard of, or seen Avatar yet; you should attend one of their shows. You will not be disappointed.