The King of Avatar Country blessed the citizens of Toronto with his presence on Sunday night as Swedish metal band, Avatar, performed at the Opera House.
This show marked the first headlining gig for the band in Toronto as last time they were here they were opening for In This Moment (we had the pleasure of talking to Johannes before their Canadian debut and covering the show). It was great to see Avatar finally do a headliner that crossed the border as last time their set felt way too short and left fans eagerly wanting more. Looking around the venue, it was awesome to see how many fans went all out and attended the show dressed up in vocalist Johannes Eckerström’s signature clown makeup. Some even had a full blown costume to match.
As Avatar’s set approached, the stage was covered with a curtain that featured the King (guitarist, Jonas Jarlsby) and national anthem of Avatar Country while bogus commercials praising the King played over the speakers. I really enjoyed how the band had taken care of every detail to transform the venue; even down to putting up string lights to give it a more “medieval/circus” feel. When 9:30 rolled around, the national anthem began to play. Once it was over, the curtain dropped to reveal Avatar’s new stage show, which of course featured a throne for their king.
With their 7th album Avatar Country coming out this Friday, fans were treated to some new songs as the band opened up with “Glory To Our King” and “Legend Of The King”. As the band appeared on stage, Jarlsby sat perched in the throne playing guitar. One detail that I loved was that after the 2nd song most of the band disappeared as a crew member appeared beside Jarlsby to hold the King’s guitar as he got out of the throne and proceeded to follow him down the steps to the stage because as you know, a King shouldn’t have to carry his own guitar. After giving the audience a little wave from the center of the stage, Jarlsby was given back his guitar as he began to play the intro to “Let It Burn”. The set list was a great mix as it contained 6 new songs as well as a bunch of fan favourites such as “Paint Me Red”, “Puppet Show”, and “Smells Like A Freakshow”. Their attention to detail not just through their music, but through their visual performance as well, is one of the many reasons why I enjoy Avatar. Everything cohesively fits together to teleport the crowd into their world.
As the night came to an end, the band closed out their show with ‘Hail the Apocalypse’. Judging by the crowd’s response, this was the first of many trips Toronto will be taking to Avatar Country.