WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
The Admiral Theater in Omaha, NE was the place to be on Friday, April 28, as Swedish metal band, Avatar, kicked off their US tour titled, the Dance Devil Dance Tour. With a new album that came out a couple of months ago, they were ready to unleash these new songs and play some old favorites.
Swedish death metal quartet Orbit Culture was the opening act. The concert was listed to start at 7:30 PM, but they decided to start the show at 7 PM, so I only watched these guys play about four songs, but I really liked what I heard. It was primal and ferocious. I was surprised by this crowd, who got here earlier, was going hard for them. They blended melody and hardcore very well. For a band being on only their second tour in America, they seemed very seasoned to me. They have a new album coming out later this year titled, Descent, so be on the lookout for that.
Direct support of the night came from Chicago’s own Veil of Maya. This wasn’t my first time seeing them play at this venue, as they were on a tour with Danzig in 2015. So, it was nice seeing them, again. They were heavy and powerful. The riffs and solos coming from the guitarist Marc Okubo were immaculate. Lead vocalist Lukas Magyar blended his singing and unclean vocals very well. It seemed like the crowd was into it, moshing when appropriate. They have a new album coming out in a couple of weeks titled, Mother.
Finally, it was Avatar’s turn to take the stage. This was my third time checking out these guys, so I had a good feeling about what to expect, but they took their performance and production to the next level. Each band member came out of a rectangular-looking box. They kick off with “Dance Devil Dance”, with these sparkling pyrotechnics. Lead vocalist Johannes Eckerström is a performer unlike any other. He knows how to have fun with an audience. I think that is what makes people keep on coming back, along with the music. During their set, Eckerström went up to the balcony and made a balloon animal, and then started playing the trombone. Very unhinged energy that I was here for. One of the key components of Avatar is the windmilling of the hair. Avatar is professional with that concept, so it was amazing seeing it synchronized. Avatar fans are a diehard group of people and I witnessed that firsthand during this one, singing the songs and head-banging. There were so many crowd surfers, which is the highest compliment a fan could give an artist performing. Avatar knows how to have a good time onstage, and you couldn’t be disappointed with that. Their latest album, Dance Devil Dance, is available now.
Veil of Maya