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Avatar throw down alongside 68, Dance With The Dead and Devin Townsend at First Avenue in Minneapolis

After a cloudy and chilly start to the day on a five mile hike, I was glad to be walking in the mild cloud covered sun to First Avenue to catch Avatar for the second time. The first time I saw this band play was when they opened to Trivium last fall and at first I thought I was in for a gimmicky or showy band that was going to be hit or miss on their sound. What I got instead was a band that came out hard for a forty minute set and absolutely crushed every moment of it. I walked away from that show in awe and hoping Avatar wouldn’t skip out on the Twin Cities the next time they toured North America.

Flash forward to the spring and Avatar made their return, this time headlining and bringing three more bands on the tour with them. The first band up was ‘68. This band was also made a stop in the Twin Cities last fall, opening for Fit For A King, and their performance then was phenomenal. Set up close to each other, Josh Scogin and Michael McClellen put on an insane set for a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer. Musically, the duo are incredible masters of their craft, never missing a beat. Performance wise, there are few bands that can match their level of charisma and stage presence. Their set flew by in a short 25 minutes, leaving me eagerly awaiting their next stop in the cities.

68

Avatar

Next up was a new act for me: Dance with the dead. Another duo on the lineup, consisting of Justin Pointer and Tony Kim, I’ll admit I wasn’t familiar with their band prior to the show. The band came out with heavy, layered synths and solid guitar work, and while their set wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, there was a large part of the crowd that was jamming along to the band’s set and enjoying themselves.

The penultimate act of the night was the curveball of the evening. Sitting in between sets of heavy rock was an acoustic set from Devin Townsend. While on paper it seems odd, Devin filled out in his set with musings and anecdotes that kept the crowd engaged in between songs. What was really impactful was that Townsend barely needed to strum his guitar for the crowd to cheer and get into it; he owned this set from start to finish and the crowd went along with every single part of it.

Finally, just before 10pm, it was time for Avatar to take the stage. After the curtain dropped First Avenue erupted into cheers and screams from the crowd, the carnival style lights giving the stage life before the band walked on. From the first song to the last of their seventeen song set, Avatar impressed and exceeded my expectations from their performance. The band incorporated a royal chair for the King of Avatar Country, guitarist Jonas Jarlsby, sparks, and sported outfits to fit the heavy metal carnival experience. The lighting for the show was incredible, matching the energy and heavy riffs from the band. All in all, Avatar knows how to put on a captivating show that has extremely high appeal to catch their next one.

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

68

68

68

68

Devin Townsend

Dance With The Dead

Dance With The Dead

Dance With The Dead

Alexa Chihos
Alexa Chihos is a music photographer based in Boston. See her work at alexachihosphotography.com.

Avatar throw down alongside 68, Dance With The Dead and Devin Townsend at First Avenue in Minneapolis

After a cloudy and chilly start to the day on a five mile hike, I was glad to be walking in the mild cloud covered sun to First Avenue to catch Avatar for the second time. The first time I saw this band play was when they opened to Trivium last fall and at first I thought I was in for a gimmicky or showy band that was going to be hit or miss on their sound. What I got instead was a band that came out hard for a forty minute set and absolutely crushed every moment of it. I walked away from that show in awe and hoping Avatar wouldn’t skip out on the Twin Cities the next time they toured North America.

Flash forward to the spring and Avatar made their return, this time headlining and bringing three more bands on the tour with them. The first band up was ‘68. This band was also made a stop in the Twin Cities last fall, opening for Fit For A King, and their performance then was phenomenal. Set up close to each other, Josh Scogin and Michael McClellen put on an insane set for a guitarist/vocalist and a drummer. Musically, the duo are incredible masters of their craft, never missing a beat. Performance wise, there are few bands that can match their level of charisma and stage presence. Their set flew by in a short 25 minutes, leaving me eagerly awaiting their next stop in the cities.

68

Avatar

Next up was a new act for me: Dance with the dead. Another duo on the lineup, consisting of Justin Pointer and Tony Kim, I’ll admit I wasn’t familiar with their band prior to the show. The band came out with heavy, layered synths and solid guitar work, and while their set wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, there was a large part of the crowd that was jamming along to the band’s set and enjoying themselves.

The penultimate act of the night was the curveball of the evening. Sitting in between sets of heavy rock was an acoustic set from Devin Townsend. While on paper it seems odd, Devin filled out in his set with musings and anecdotes that kept the crowd engaged in between songs. What was really impactful was that Townsend barely needed to strum his guitar for the crowd to cheer and get into it; he owned this set from start to finish and the crowd went along with every single part of it.

Finally, just before 10pm, it was time for Avatar to take the stage. After the curtain dropped First Avenue erupted into cheers and screams from the crowd, the carnival style lights giving the stage life before the band walked on. From the first song to the last of their seventeen song set, Avatar impressed and exceeded my expectations from their performance. The band incorporated a royal chair for the King of Avatar Country, guitarist Jonas Jarlsby, sparks, and sported outfits to fit the heavy metal carnival experience. The lighting for the show was incredible, matching the energy and heavy riffs from the band. All in all, Avatar knows how to put on a captivating show that has extremely high appeal to catch their next one.

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

Avatar

68

68

68

68

Devin Townsend

Dance With The Dead

Dance With The Dead

Dance With The Dead

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