Avatar – to some the word brings to mind a television show that aired on Nickelodeon in the early 2000’s, to others James Cameron’s hit movie, but to metal fans Avatar means raw Swedish metal that have taken contemporary metal by storm since their debut. The band embraces an astonishing circus aesthetic though their music is no joke as their technical skill as musicians rival that of some of the most established giants of the metal and hardcore worlds. The band is currently in the middle of a nation wide touring support In This Moment to mostly sold out crowd but took the time this week to return to the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA. This was not the first time the band has come through our local music scene, nor will it likely be the last, and it was clear that their presence in Pennsylvania reached wider than just Lancaster county as many fans were wearing Rock Allegiance shirts wear the band performed last year.
The tiny stage of the Chameleon Club was packed to the brim for the band’s performance as a large metal cage wrapped around the back of the stage with colossal lightbulb infused letters that spelled out AVATAR hung in the background. Strobe lights litered flanked both sides of the stage and the haze was thick as the band began things with a dramatic burst of CO2 and theatrics just past 8:30 this past Monday. The crowd of roughly 650 strong roared with approval and excitement as the show began. Avatar is more than just theatrics and drama – though they a clever to embrace it as it transforms their live show into something truly magical (in a Satanic kind of way of course.)
The hour and half plus set kept the crowd rocking and the band was just as into it. Lead singer Johannes Eckerström is a true entertainer and worked the crowd all night as he jumped from side to side of the tiny stage that the Chameleon Club offered. From guitar riffs, to flawless breakdowns and piercing vocals – the set was truly beyond words enjoyable to watch. The crowd shared our sentiment and was lively bunch as they cheered with approval when Johannes Eckerström took a drank of one can only imagine what from a mock gasoline canister during the set after a few songs of intense moshing.
Lancaster has a great music scene and Avatar has become a part of it with their numerous stops through the area – on their next time through it might be time to move them to the larger space at the Convention Center though because at the speed this band is gaining fans the Chameleon Club is going to soon run out of room.