Concert Review: Avatar at the Slowdown

Review by David Taylor & Photos by Robert Chadwick

Avatar at the Slowdown. Photographed by Robert Chadwick


Saturday nights are the best nights for concerts. This was my first time at the Slowdown in Omaha. Such a cool venue. Avatar from Gothenburg, Sweden rolled their touring circus into town. The crowd was packed for an awesome show on the weekend.

Local support for the night came from When Towers Fall. This was the second time seeing them, as I was at their show in July at the Waiting Room. What a perfect band to open up the show. They were very experimental in their music, but talented in their own right. I love their use of neon face paint, such an awesome move to differentiate themselves from other bands. Derrek Sammons, lead vocalist, always kills it live with his wide range of vocals, from his falsetto to his growls. They were very tight, rhythmically. The crowd was very receptive to them. Awesome opening set for the night by When Towers Fall and looking forward to new music from them, as well.

Finally, it was the mighty Avatar from Gothenburg, Sweden. This was my second time seeing them live, the last time was last year in Kansas, opening up for Avenged Sevenfold. This was their 5th time playing in Omaha, so the turn-out was better than I had expected, very responsive. They really packed a punch to start with, kicking off their set with the groove-infused “Hail the Apocalypse”. Johannes Eckerström, lead vocalist, is a madman onstage, wearing face paint with his facial expressions and antics on stage, very charismatic. He really likes to stick his tongue out, reminiscent of Gene Simmons of Kiss. When you think of Swedish metal, you usually think of death metal, but with Avatar, their brand of metal is all over the place, like an enigma. They can be radio friendly at one point, or they can go crazy, in your face metal. The duel guitars of Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrströ were quite exceptional. I am glad Avatar doesn’t sound like anyone out there. This band, to me, looks like they were born to play arenas, with the production they bring with them, especially as an opening band on tour. It’s awesome to see the Omaha band dig a band of this caliber because all these up-and-coming bands are starting to sound the same, but Avatar always gives off something fresh and something that’s catchy and original.


When Towers Fall

All photos are © 2017 Robert Chadwick Photography.