Avatar’s Great Metal Circus Tour Turns Starland Ballroom Into Chaos Under The Big Top


Avatar is a Swedish heavy metal band that emerged onto the scene in the early 2000s, quickly carving out a niche for themselves with their unique blend of melodic death metal and theatrical stage presence. Their early albums, such as “Thoughts of No Tomorrow” and “Schlacht,” showcased their ferocious energy and technical prowess, earning them a dedicated fanbase within the metal community. As their career progressed, Avatar began to experiment with their sound, incorporating elements of progressive metal and rock opera into their music while maintaining their signature intensity.

Fast forward to the present day, and Avatar finds themselves at the forefront of the metal scene, embarking on their highly anticipated tour, The Great Metal Circus. This tour promises to be a spectacle like no other, with Avatar’s electrifying performances, elaborate stage setups, and immersive storytelling taking audiences on a journey through the darker realms of metal music. With their latest album, “Hunter Gatherer,” receiving critical acclaim for its bold experimentation and thematic depth, Avatar is poised to deliver an unforgettable experience to fans old and new alike as they continue to push the boundaries of their genre on The Great Metal Circus tour.  Now it’s Starland Ballroom’s turn to experience this brutal three ring extravaganza.

Following the devilish sounds of The Damned’s song “Beware of the Clown, Avatar slip onto the stap under the cover of darkness and soon delivered a mesmerizing performance during their rendition of “Dance Devil Dance”. Frontman Johannes Eckerström’s commanding presence, adorned in his signature theatrical makeup and costumes, drew the audience into a darkly captivating world as he unleashed his dynamic vocal range, seamlessly transitioning between haunting growls and soaring melodies. Guitarists Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström unleashed a barrage of razor-sharp riffs, driving the song’s infectious energy, while bassist Henrik Sandelin and drummer John Alfredsson provided a thunderous rhythmic foundation that propelled the crowd into a frenzy of headbanging and moshing.

Transitioning seamlessly into “The Eagle Has Landed”, Avatar continued to captivate with their masterful musicianship and theatrical flair. Eckerström’s charismatic stage presence and theatrical antics, including his captivating interaction with the audience, added an extra layer of intensity to the performance. Jarlsby and Öhrström’s intricate guitar work intertwined flawlessly, creating a sonic tapestry of aggression and melody, while Sandelin’s rumbling bass lines and Alfredsson’s thunderous drumming provided a relentless pulse that reverberated through the venue. As the song reached its climax, Avatar’s performance reached a crescendo of intensity, leaving the audience exhilarated and hungry for more.

For “Valley of Disease”, Avatar delivered a tour de force performance that showcased the band’s musical versatility and unbridled passion. Eckerström’s haunting vocals and emotive delivery, coupled with the band’s tight-knit instrumentation, transported the audience to a dark and atmospheric realm. Avatar’s electrifying performance of “Bloody Angel” showcased the band’s unparalleled energy and stage presence. Frontman Johannes Eckerström, with his charismatic demeanor and captivating vocal delivery, commanded the stage, drawing the audience into the dark and intense world of the song. Guitarists Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström unleashed a torrent of blistering riffs, their synchronized headbanging adding to the song’s ferocious intensity. Bassist Henrik Sandelin and drummer John Alfredsson provided a solid and driving rhythm that underpinned the song’s relentless momentum. Midway through the performance, as the band reached a crescendo of sonic fury, Eckerström vanished from the stage, only to reappear at the soundboard amidst the audience. There, to the delight and bewilderment of fans, he began crafting intricate balloon animals while simultaneously showcasing his unexpected talent on the trumpet, adding an element of whimsy and unpredictability to the performance.

As Avatar transitioned into “Make it Rain”, the atmosphere shifted, showcasing the band’s versatility and dynamic range. Eckerström’s emotive vocals carried a sense of vulnerability and longing, while the band’s musical proficiency shone through in the song’s haunting melodies and intricate arrangements. Jarlsby and Öhrström’s guitar work was particularly evocative, weaving a tapestry of melancholy and introspection. Sandelin’s melodic bass lines added depth and texture, while Alfredsson’s nuanced drumming provided a subtle yet driving pulse.

Fans exploded with excitement when the demented circus tones of “Puppet Show” echoed through the room.  Avatar delivered a tour de force performance that melded theatricality with musical virtuosity. Eckerström’s theatrical antics and commanding stage presence were in full force as he led the audience through a twisted and darkly humorous narrative. Jarlsby and Öhrström’s guitar interplay was mesmerizing, their riffs and solos weaving a sonic tapestry that was equal parts sinister and captivating. Sandelin and Alfredsson’s rhythmic precision provided a solid foundation, driving the song forward with relentless momentum. As the performance reached its climax, Eckerström’s presence at the soundboard added an unexpected yet fitting touch, his balloon animals and trumpet melodies adding an extra layer of whimsy to the band’s theatrical spectacle. With “Puppet Show”, Avatar left the audience spellbound, their performance a testament to their unparalleled creativity and showmanship.

Avatar’s performance of “Black Waltz,” “Tower,” and “Colossus” was nothing short of a mesmerizing journey through the realms of dark theatrics and thunderous metal. As the haunting melody of “Black Waltz” echoed through the venue, the stage was illuminated with an eerie glow, setting the tone for an evening of theatrical intensity. Frontman Johannes Eckerström emerged, his presence commanding attention as he embodied the dark protagonist of the song’s narrative. With each verse, Eckerström’s vocals oscillated between haunting growls and melodic croons, weaving a tale of macabre fascination. Guitarists Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström unleashed a torrent of razor-sharp riffs, their synchronized movements adding to the song’s frenetic energy, while bassist Henrik Sandelin and drummer John Alfredsson laid down a relentless rhythmic foundation that drove the performance forward with unyielding force.

As “Black Waltz” reached its climax, seamlessly transitioning into “Tower,” the atmosphere shifted, plunging the audience into a deeper abyss of sonic intensity. Jarlsby and Öhrström’s guitar work soared to new heights, their intricate melodies intertwining with Sandelin’s pulsating bass lines to create a sonic tapestry that was both mesmerizing and foreboding. Eckerström’s theatrical presence continued to captivate, his movements evoking the imagery of a dark maestro conducting a symphony of chaos. With each thunderous beat from Alfredsson’s drums, the tension built, culminating in a cacophony of sound that reverberated through the venue, leaving the audience spellbound.

Closing their set with the monumental “Colossus,” Avatar unleashed a sonic onslaught that left no soul untouched. Eckerström’s commanding vocals soared over the intricate instrumentation, his presence on stage akin to that of a mythic titan awakening from slumber. Jarlsby and Öhrström’s guitar solos danced with fiery intensity, each note igniting the air with raw emotion. Meanwhile, Sandelin’s bass throbbed with an ominous pulse, while Alfredsson’s thunderous drumming drove the song to its climactic peak. As the final notes of “Colossus” faded into the night, Avatar’s performance left an indelible mark on all who bore witness, a testament to their mastery of the art of theatrical metal.

In Avatar’s electrifying performance of “A Statue of the King,” the stage was transformed into a majestic court as guitarist Jonas Jarlsby made a dramatic entrance, adorned in royal garb as he embodied the regal figure of the song’s protagonist. Amidst a backdrop of towering banners and flickering torches, frontman Johannes Eckerström assumed the role of the storyteller, his commanding presence guiding the audience through a tale of power and intrigue. Jarlsby’s portrayal of the king added an extra layer of authenticity to the performance, his majestic demeanor and commanding stage presence captivating the audience’s imagination. As the song unfolded, Jarlsby’s guitar work resonated with regal authority while Eckerström’s vocals soared with an intensity befitting the subject matter, immersing the audience in a world of dark fantasy and grandeur.

For their encore, Avatar continued to captivate the audience with a trio of fan-favorite songs, starting with “The Dirt I’m Buried In.” Frontman Eckerström’s emotive vocals commanded attention as he led the band through a haunting and introspective journey. Guitarists Tim Öhrström and Jonas Jarlsby unleashed a barrage of haunting melodies and blistering riffs, while bassist Henrik Sandelin and drummer John Alfredsson provided a solid and driving rhythm that underscored the song’s emotional intensity. The performance resonated with raw emotion, leaving the audience spellbound.

As the night reached its climax, Avatar launched into “Smells Like a Freak Show,” igniting the stage with an explosion of energy and theatrics. Eckerström’s electrifying stage presence was in full force as he led the band through the song’s infectious hooks and anthemic chorus. Jarlsby and Öhrström’s guitar solos dazzled with virtuosity, while Sandelin and Alfredsson’s rhythmic precision drove the song forward with relentless momentum. Closing their set with the apocalyptic anthem “Hail the Apocalypse,” Avatar delivered a tour de force performance that left the audience in awe. Eckerström’s vocals soared over the band’s thunderous instrumentation, his presence on stage commanding attention as he led the crowd in a final, triumphant chorus. With each member’s musical prowess on full display, Avatar’s performance of “Hail the Apocalypse” served as a powerful finale, leaving an indelible mark on all who witnessed their electrifying performance.