Avatar @ First Avenue Minneapolis, MN 5/28/19 w/ special guests Devin Townsend, Dance With The Dead

The first band I saw was Dance With The Dead. I don’t get it. One guy playing guitar and one guy messing with an electronic board to a lot of pre-recorded music. Total downer.

Next up was Devin Townsend playing an acoustic set of originals. I was not familiar with him but many were.  It was half standup routine and half music.  The crowd seemed to respond more to the music than the jokes. It has to be hard to get up in front of a metal audience and play acoustic guitar.  It worked and just added to the weirdness of the night. I would be interested to see what he sounds like with a band.

Avatar has been one of my favorite bands for several years now.  There is just something quirky and cool about them.  I can see them really rising to the top.  I have watched them work their way up the ladder opening for many bands including In This Moment to know headlining. The brought their A game last night, just as I had hoped and knew they would.  Wow! First Avenue actually hosted a band that had production and stage presence.  And they are not full of any self-deprecation and loathing.  They also showed people what its like to bring great production and lighting into a venue like that. Don’t get me wrong, I love First Avenue and have been going there since I was a kid.  It’s just nice to see them book bands like Avatar and Winery Dogs. I hope they do more in the future. I over heard more than one conversation about how its been many years since some in the audience had beet to the venue.

It was a great concert experience and everyone was totally into it, complete with mosh pits. Avatar is such a great live band that really knows how to entertain an audience. I can’t help but wonder if some of it is due to all of the touring they do.  I have been told by several insiders that they really work their asses off. And it totally shows. They are from Sweden for any of you that are not familiar.  They have a pretty good body of work with several catchy songs including “Smells Like A Freak Show”, “Let It Burn” and “Get In Line”.

Avatar is a game changer for the metal bands out there trying to make it. The other bands better pay attention to Avatar, if they are smart they will.

Review and photos by Tommy Sommers