Alex Matthews

Avatar @ The Observatory North Park – 10/02/2019

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Swedish heavy metal rockers Avatar brought their Avatar Country World Tour to the Observatory North Park in San Diego on October 2nd 2019. The band was actually on a larger summer tour opening for Babymetal across the US but also played a handful of solo dates. This was the band’s very last headline date of the year, and the San Diego crowd seemed very happy that Avatar decided to make a visit. The show featured spectacular lighting and sound with a large illuminated Avatar logo looming over the band as they all headbanged in unison to their heavy tunes. The crowd was a surprising mix of very young and older metalheads alike.

Vocalist Johannes Eckerström is an absolutely wonderous performer, his maniacal stage character is certainly the highlight of seeing this band live. Stalking the stage offering twisted grins, intense makeup, and a twirling cane, his performance calls back to other elaborate metal gods like the legendary Alice Cooper. All the members of the Avatar, including guitarists Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström, bassist Henrik Sandelin and drummer John Alfredsson are all insanely talented musicians. Just the ability to play some of their complex arrangements while simultaneously banging their heads for an entire two hour show is incredible to see. The band’s costuming, music, and character driven performance lead to a super fun concert experience. Highlights of the San Diego show included songs like opener “Hail The Apocalypse,” “A Statue Of The King” from their recent album also called Avatar Country and closer “Smells Like a Freakshow.”

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