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AVATAR Rocks The Depot

May 2, 2023

The Depot in downtown Salt Lake City was brimming with excitement this past Sunday night as fans of the Swedish metal band, Avatar, flocked to the venue to see an unforgettable performance. 

The night kicked off with fellow Swedish metal act, Orbit Culture, hitting the stage first performing an opening set that was received well by the fans.  Their set got the already excited crowd headbanging away and working themselves up for the rest of the night.

Next up on the stage was the Chicago-based metal band Veil of Maya.  They wasted no time in building off the already impressive amount of energy in the venue playing an array of hits that had the crowd moshing and headbanging even more.  Vocalist, Lukas Magyar, seemed to feed off the fans and was everywhere at once on the stage, even coming down to the barricades and singing with fans. 

As avatar took the stage the energy in the room shifted into a higher gear which I didn’t think was possible.  The band came out onto the stage in the elaborate costumes that they have become known for.  The band started things off with their hard-hitting title track single “Dance Devil Dance” off their recently released album.  The song set the tone for the rest of the night, as their theatrical performance and fiery presentation kept us all enthralled. 

As the night went on the band played hit after hit transfixing the crowd with their blend of metal and melody.  The nights energy showed no sign of flagging with the band and the crowd feeding off each other.  Then came the time for the encore as the band left and the crowd started the chant of “AVATAR! AVATAR!” with vocalist, Johannes Eckerstrom, coming back out onto the stage to talk with the fans for a bit before continuing.  In one of the best moments of the night he addressed us all and talked about what the band stood for and the connection with the fans.  Eckerstrom told us all that “today the biggest act of rebellion a person can do is to actually give a damn.” With a bit more colorful language.  Then he told us that as cliché as it is when bands say, “we are nothing without you,” he wanted us to know they actually mean it.  He thanked the crowd for giving meaning to their music by giving a damn and in return giving meaning to them which they gave back to us in their music.  His words expressed it quite a bit more than I can here, and it was the most touching moment of the night.

After the speech they jumped right back into the swing of things launching into a fiery encore that started out with the anthemic “Smells Like a Freakshow” and finishing the night off with “Hail the Apocalypse.”

Overall, the performance was energetic and mesmerizing and showcased why Avatar remains one of the most beloved metal bands out there today.  Their stage presence and production of their live shows is second to none and turns an ordinary concert into an unforgettable night. 

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