This show was not for the faint of heart.
We’re not even a week into the new year and Columbus was treated to a show of epic magnitude when theatrical Swedish metal quintet Avatar kicked off their massive world tour at Express Live! this past weekend. We can tell you that it was an incredible performance and an expertly executed arrangement with no expense or detail spared.
The tour package is headed out on a nearly four-month excursion that will take them to more than a dozen countries, and it’s really quite the spectacle. There was plenty to look at before anyone took the stage, from the makeshift fan art ‘museum’ that will grow as the tour progresses, to the games of chance at the elaborate merch area, to the branded claw machine full of plush lions in tiny Avatar t-shirts, these weirdos clearly thought of everything.
The show opened with a jaw-dropping 45 minute set by the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow, four absolute maniacs who risk life and limb to perform daredevil feats that are awe-inspiring and stomach-turning at the same time. Choreographed to the tunes of Marilyn Manson, Pantera and other heavy, spooky shit, these guys hang bowling balls from their eyelids, swallow razorblades, and balance running lawnmowers on their goddamn faces. How do you top that?
Next up was The Brains, a psychobilly trio from Montreal, Canada, and if you aren’t familiar with the genre, they’re as good a starting point as you’ll find. It’s classic rockabilly tunes turned up to 11 and played as fast as the trio can speed through them, just the right act to get you ready for the headliners.
The final band have a brand new album out in less than a week and this show provided the live debut of no less than six tracks from that record. They perform them on a giant stage setup with enormous banners, intricate lighting, and a fucking throne that rises up from the middle so lead guitar player (and central character of their extensive fictional back story) ‘The King’ can shred his brains out with out having to stand up for us peons. Face-painted singer and court jester Johannes Eckerstrom shrieks like a damn banshee, and regardless of what you think of their recorded material, the live show is absolutely incredible.
We’re gonna shut up now and let these ridiculous pictures do the talking…
Photos by Tiffany Detzel. To find more incredible photos from Tiffany, check out her Instagram: @tiffanydetzel.