Avatar + Krave – The Triffid Brisbane [Live Review]

Review: Nev Pearce
Photography: Luke Petty

It’s been a long time coming for Australian fans of Swedish melodic metal monsters Avatar.

As each album cycle came and went, we were left wondering if we would ever get the chance to see them on our shores instead of having to make the trip to a festival overseas to witness their incredible show in the flesh.

With the recent release of their ninth epic studio album ‘Dance Devil Dance’ our prayers were finally answered, and the band announced that they would indeed be finally making their way down under for a brief but jam-packed tour which to my excitement included the Triffid in Brisbane to wrap things up!

Kicking off the night is Brisbane band Krave who has been making a name for themselves in the metal scene here due to their hard work ethic and kick-arse tunes.

Now I’ve seen the trio before and even shared the stage with them on a couple of occasions, they have always left a big impression on me and been curious to see and hear them on a much bigger stage where I personally feel their music is meant for.

As the lights go out Krave get a well-deserved warm welcome as they rip into Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog for their intro and what follows is a high-energy performance that is captivating and extremely entertaining.

Vocalist Siana Davis can not only sing with power and conviction but also shred at the same time, throughout their set there isn’t a moment where she isn’t commanding her audience to hold their attention and rock out.
Krave are a band to keep an eye on and I got the feeling that tonight isn’t the last time we see them on a stage such as this.

Now I’ve heard and read about Avatar’s live show for many years and spoken to people who have caught them on the European festival circuit and every single one of them has said the exact same thing….they are fucking awesome!

Opening with the title track to their latest record ‘Dance Devil Dance’ you are instantly transported into their world for two hours that can only be described as a heavy metal circus freak show to the soundtrack of some of the heaviest beat-down riffs known to man that get the room instantly moving, it’s fun, chaotic and full of surprises throughout!

The ringmaster and band leader Johannes Eckerström is without a doubt one of the greatest frontmen of our time. With the flair and theatrics of Alice Cooper crossed with the charisma and vocal diversity of Freddy Mercury and Bruce Dickinson, he is nothing short of a true force of nature to be reckoned with on stage.

Whether it be drinking (what I assume is water) from a petrol can, mid-song balloon animals to even a trombone solo, he uses every trick in the book to keep the fans engaged throughout the night while his band slams through banger after banger without missing a beat.

Mid set we get a blazing guitar dual stand-off between Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström which shows that not only are they incredible songwriters but also technical masters at their craft and some of the best players in the genre.

While most of the set leant towards the pit-heavy material we are treated to a brief solo piano version of Waltzing Matilda before Eckerström plays a laid-back and emotionally driven rendition of ‘Tower’ which is quite a special moment of the evening.

As the set rolls on towards its end, we are delivered hit after hit with The Dirt I’m Buried In, A Statue of the King and the massive three-song encore of Colossus, Smells Like a Freakshow and Hail the Apocalypse which gives the fans one last burst of energy to blast into a circle pit for the big finale.

Everything you have ever heard about Avatar as a live band is true and tonight, we got to witness it in all their glory even without the massive stage and pyro that they would have back home if anything it proves that is just icing on the cake and they could deliver a flawless performance even without the makeup, bells, whistles and trombones.

But what we got was something quite special and memorable and nothing short of a motherfuckin spectacle of epic proportions and I will be there front and center whenever they choose to return.

 – Gallery –