The Eagle Has Landed in Toronto as Swedish metal band, Avatar, made their debut appearance at the Danforth Music Hall on Sunday night. It was a special evening as this performance not only marked the band’s first time in Toronto, but it was also their first time stepping foot into Canada.
Their 7 song set list flew by as they played songs such as ‘Hail the Apocalypse’, ‘New Land’, and ‘Let It Burn’. One thing I loved most about this band is that their outfits and music really do go hand in hand. Sometimes when you see costumed bands their image doesn’t always reflect the music, but this is not the case for Avatar. Both elements really play off each other and it really adds to the atmosphere of their show. Vocalist, Johannes Eckerström, really meant it when he told the crowd they were about to be teleported into Avatar Country. Avatar had a way of transforming the Danforth into this creepy circus that captivates the masses. It was to the point that part of me almost forgot that they were only one of the opening bands.
It’s also to note that seeing Eckerström perform is pretty impressive. He’s able to animate himself by over exaggerating his movements yet somehow manages to never miss a beat. The band’s performance as a whole was pretty solid as they held down the fort while Eckerström interacted with the crowd.
Something that I also noticed was that the microphones stands that guitarists Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström, and bassist Henrik Sandelin had. When they weren’t doing back up vocals, they used a lever at the bottom of the stands that would flip it down and out of the way. Details like the movement of their microphones had me thinking of slapstick comedy and shows how detail oriented every visual aspect of the band is.
When the band performed ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ that’s when it really hit me. First the band teased the crowd with a little bit of the intro, then as Eckerström’s part was about to kick in, the band would stop. They did this a few times and by the end of it the crowd was dying with anticipation. When the song finally began, the band was met with a roar of approval from the crowd as they began to sing the lyrics back. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one longing to see Avatar live as it felt like else everyone in the venue was also very familiar with their discography. Looking around, the band literally had everyone moshing, head banging, dancing, and singing along throughout the whole set.
As Avatar’s time on the stage came to an end, the band finished their set with ‘Smells Like A Freak Show’. But given the response from the crowd, I’m sure this was only the first of many Avatar shows in Toronto to come.
If you’re like me and can’t wait to see them again (or you blew it and missed this fantastic show), you can catch them in Rochester, NY on May 10th with Motionless In White. If you’re a metal head, or just really like scary looking clowns, don’t sit around on seeing Avatar live. I can definitely see them catapulting into some great big new territories soon.