Goffertpark Nijmegen (Netherlands)
It was extremely crowded in front of the Main Stage when a female voice could be heard out of the loudspeaker asking the people in Dutch to do the honour to the king. What was following was definitively the surprise and one of the highlights of this year’s FortaRock.
Before that the Swedes of Avatar were not well known by me and I also did not know what to expect now. To the sounds of “A Statue Of The King” guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby was risen in front of a huge Avatar writing sitting on a throne and bit by bit the whole Fortarock became part of their realm “Avatar Country” (which is the title of their current album). The guys around singer Johannes Eckerström started with a rousing show where everything was well-orchestrated in the minutest detail. The extremely varied style was changing between shock-rock à la Alice Cooper and the somehow hyphy style of System Of A Down accompanied by opulent costumes in mediaeval nobleman style as well as faces painted very eye-catching in black and white. Also the monumental banner at the background of the stage reminds of the age of chivalry.
Again and again the crowd was integrated and participating enthusiastically when Eckström announced the songs in a very hammy and stagy way. The songs itself were also carrying you along, no matter whether it was “Paint Me Red” of the album “Black Waltz” or the driving “Hail The Apocalypse” of the equally named album. It was simple singing along, to clap and just to celebrate the band which really enjoyed it. Nice detail at the sidelines: even the stage crew was wearing outfits that matched to the ones the artists were wearing. After only one hour and in my opinion way too early there was the time to say goodbye.
The guys are heavily touring around at the moment (simply from the tour shirt I was able to see that they were the day before playing at the Rock im Park and the next day they already had a gig on the related festival Rock am Ring) and by hearing and watching them you have to admit: they will become more famous in the years ahead. There is undoubtedly the potential for that. An impressive stage show, varying songs as well as Johannes Eckerström who not only has a great charisma but also has a great voice screaming, grunting and singing throughout the songs. Not to forget also his support formed by Jonas Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström on guitars, Henrik Sandelin on bass and John Alfredsson on drums providing this terrific sound scenery. Who has the opportunity to watch them somewhere nearby should absolutely do this. It is absolutely worth it!
- A Statue Of The King
- Let It Burn
- Paint Me Red
- Bloody Angel
- The Eagle Has Landed
- Smells Like A Freakshow
- Glory To Our King
- The King Welcomes You To Avatar Country
- Hail The Apocalypse
Homepage of the Swedish band Avatar.
Homepage of the Fortarock festival at Nijmegen (Netherlands).