On the 25th of September, 2021, Avatar took the stage at Delmar Hall in St. Louis, Missouri. After support from Magic Sword, the Swedish heavy metal band began their set with “Colossus,” from their eighth and most recent studio album Hunter Gatherer. From staples of the band’s performance from their well-known stage makeup and coordinated costumes, to the electrifying stage presence of Johannes Eckerström, lead vocalist, it was clear why Avatar’s performance attracted an audience of both young and old metal enthusiasts alike. Though their setlist in and of itself needed no accompaniment, the lighting, set design, and in-sync headbanging ensured the audience was in for an experience well beyond your average show.
Above all, Avatar made it clear they wanted everyone to not only have a good time, but a safe time as well, Johannes stopping between the 6th and 7th song to reiterate that we are still all in this together. Though it was clear that every member in the audience came to have a good time, you would have trouble finding a more respectful crowd, as the attendees were vaccinated (or had a negative test result), kept their masks on, and were mindful of the space they took up as well as others around them. Ending their set with “Hail the Apocalypse,” despite its initial release in 2014, felt like a more than fitting and timely end to the night, with everyone more than grateful to be able to spend the evening together and celebrate the return of live music.