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Livestream Review: Avatar brought balloons and madness for third impossible virtual event (01/23/21)

Posted by on January 26, 2021

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to our daily lives for quite some time now. A concert feels more like a distant memory as rescheduled events continue to get postponed or cancelled. Despite the darkness, bands have found a way to bring some life during these dicey times by presenting us with quarantine videos, live Q&A’s, and Livestreams. We’ve listed out our favorite Livestreams of 2020, and now in 2021, bands are turning them up a notch as this time of uncertainty continues. Swedish metal giants Avatar decided to ring in the new year with not only one but four Livestreams. These virtual showings are much different from anything we’ve seen so far, as each set has a unique theme circling around the band’s career.

With one stream left to set for this Saturday (30th), Avatar has been bringing the freakshow right into our living rooms, letting the vibrant circus in during the dead of winter. Presented by Danny Wimmer Presents, Avatar’s theatrical stage presence that we love and miss has graciously returned along with several surprises, ones we wouldn’t be able to see during a live event. Saturday, January 23rd, was a special treat for veteran Avatar fans. It was themed Madness, which included a fan-voted setlist featuring songs from 2012’s Black Waltz and 2014’s Hail the Apocalypse.  

The experience was as titled, an impossible concert experience, between seeing the group onstage to being enclosed in a room filled with tricks, doors, and illusion. Unlike other Livestreams we’ve seen, frontman Johannes Eckerström knows how to present himself in front of the camera to unleash one remarkable magic trick: to make it look as though a live audience is in the room with them. While we’re aware there are no concertgoers, Eckerström’s overall expressions and connection with the camera added a warm natural presence as though we were watching a previously-recorded live event. Performance-wise, this is perhaps one of the most dedicated and energetic Livestreams you will experience, making us wish all four will eventually be available on BluRay.

Avatar warmed up our living rooms, reminding us all to have a good time. Eckerström’s dramatic piano rendition of “Tower,” bringing balloons onto the stage for “Black Waltz,” and the natural play with lights and effects that we wouldn’t naturally see in a live setting were just a few of the highlights. What struck us the most was Eckerström’s speech before going into “Get In Line.” Eckerström had a maddening heart to heart touching up something we’ve all been feeling while waiting for the day it’s safe to go to concerts again:

“It’s wonderfully weird to be here because we are here all alone yet we feel your presence. It’s the closest thing to a religious experience a person like me might ever have. We appreciate you, sharing this moment with us. Making us feel so special because we spent some time now, feeling like the least essential workers that there is on this or any other planet. I guess there is no one less essential than us but, and I get that, I don’t drive an ambulance, I get it. I get it. I don’t drive an ambulance, I cannot, I know some first aid, but that’s about it. We’re not very essential, that’s what I’m saying over and over again. But, still, to be perfectly honest, it feels pretty damn essential to us to get to do what we love to do. Makes sense, right? But we are being patient, because we know we will see you, all of you, very soon.”

 

We highly recommend you to watch this Saturday’s (30th) Livestream, just go here for more information and exclusive merch. We will be there, most likely with some popcorn and wine. And if you haven’t yet, you should check out their latest effort, The Hunter Gatherer, which was included on one of our year-end lists.

 

January 23rd Setlist:

Hail the Apocalypse

Torn Apart

Blod

In Napalm – (First time live since September 22, 2015.)

Black Waltz – (Balloons performance)

Let It Burn

Paint Me Red

Puppet Show

Ready for the Ride

Vultures Fly

Tower -(Piano version by Johannes)

Murderer

Get in Line

Tsar Bomba

Bloody Angel

Smells Like a Freakshow

 

January 16th Setlist:

Act 1 – Feathers & Flesh:

Regret – (Piano intro by Johannes)

House of Eternal Hunt

The Eagle Has Landed

New Land

Tooth, Beak & Claw

For the Swarm

One More Hill

Black Waters

Night Never Ending

When the Snow Lies Red

Raven Wine

Act 2 – Avatar Country:

Glory to Our King
(Lounge version with Johannes on piano)

Legend of the King

The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country

A Statue of the King

King’s Harvest

The King Wants You

King After King

 

January 9th Setlist:

Hunter Gatherer Intro

Silence in the Age of Apes

Colossus

A Secret Door

God of Sick Dreams

Scream Until You Wake

Child

Justice

Gun

When All But Force Has Failed

Wormhole

Act 2 – Best of:

The Eagle Has Landed – (Piano intro by Johannes)

For the Swarm

Glory to Our King

The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country

A Statue of the King

Let It Burn

Bloody Angel

Smells Like a Freakshow

Hail the Apocalypse

 

 

 

 

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