The Dallas territory of Avatar Country continued its population growth with Avatar’s recent stop at the South Side Ballroom on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
Even though Avatar’s set was a short 40 minutes, due to their supporting role on the current Baby Metal tour, they’re set worthy of a headliner and rightfully so.
Avatar was touring to feature their first ever live album (and vinyl only release) titled The King Live in Paris. After a series of successful summer festival shows, the band elected to return to North America as support for Japan’s Baby Metal which includes headlining shows on off dates.
Avatar is no stranger to the North Texas Territory of Avatar Country and there was a healthy showing of citizens sporting Avatar shirts and hoodies. Citizens and citizens-to-be were proudly displaying the gold and red colors and excitement shone in their eyes.
Sporting his signature hat, cane and royal clown makeup, vocalist Johannes Eckerstrom wasted no time hooking the enthusiastic crowd as the band launched into “Hail the Apocalypse,” the title track from the band’s 2014 release. At that moment, the crowd was fully engrossed in the Avatar set. This all occurred while the band’s logo, fashioned in carnival-style midway lighting, blinked with lights tracing individual letters eventually fully illuminating the crowd.
Avatar continued their march forward through Avatar Country conquering the crowd and new citizens. The band was dressed in their matching avant-garde royal threads with red and gold striping and piping. The eight song siege featured favorites, set staples and plenty of hair windmilling.
Veteran countrymen were pleased. They were battered with the likes of “A Statue of the King,” “Bloody Angel” and “The Eagle has Landed,” to name a few. If there was any disappointment, it would have to be the non-inclusion of “Avatar Country”, but that wasn’t a deal breaker.
Avatar delivered a highly engaging set. Those not familiar the band were surprised to see Eckerstrom march out with his trombone during “Puppet Show.” Fans, however, immediately reacted with joy the moment the band launched into song.
Next, Eckerstrom took time to speak with the crowd and expressed the band’s gratitude for seeing their set. He explained that Dallas has always been very welcoming of Avatar and it holds a special place in the band’s heart. Grinning, he then proceeded to sing the melody to the TV show Dallas. Eckerstrom stated the series runs on Swedish TV.
Eckerstrom then transitioned his conversation with the crowd leading into “Smells like a Freakshow,” another fan favorite with plenty of chorus participation.
There is no doubt an Avatar set is a magical live experience.
Little by little, the populace of Avatar Country is expanding each night the band performs. It’s not a stretch to say that Eckerstrom could be one of the leading front men of today’s metal. He’s extremely animated and charismatic which makes experience that much more unique.
The other band members have their own stage personalities and looks as well. When all five members unite on stage and present Avatar, newcomers are immediately ready to sign their papers to become members of Avatar Country. As the band exited the stage, Eckerstrom said ‘bye’ giving a silly wave to the crowd, who in turn responded with a sea of silly waves back.
Eckerstrom’s parting words told the crowd that Avatar would be back. The anticipation now begins.
Special message from Avatar to the fans: Horns in the Air