On this date in history, 5/3/2018, I witnessed AVATAR whip a capacity crowd into a frenzy at Piere’s in Ft. Wayne, IN. There is something so thrilling about seeing a band poised on the brink of massive success playing at an intimate club and generating a magical performance. This band has been active since 2001 and have only had one membership change since that time. Comprised of drummer John Alfredsson, bassist/backing vocalist Henrik Sandelin, the twin guitar arsenal of Tim Öhrström and Jonas Jarlsby, and front man extraordinaire, Johannes Eckerström, AVATAR hails from Sweden. Their show drenched perfection, from the pristine sound to the nonstop energy of the entire band, covering a wide stylistic range of original material from their excellent catalog. Eckerström is a born performer with a chameleon voice capable of deep soothing baritone croons, piercing highs a la Rob Halford in his prime, and throat shredding metal growls and screams. Add this to his face painted “clown” persona, the man never stopped moving throughout the performance, with the exception of the several times he spoke to the crowd and described the correlation of the energy give and take between a band and its audience. I feel I can speak for that audience tonight. We all felt something special was going on, and AVATAR knew it, responded to it, and were genuinely moved by it. This band is going places, and I was part of something truly remarkable tonight.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic