Concerts on a Sunday night are always a challenge since it’s hard to get people to the venue, having a new work-week in front of them. However, the once that get out to a concert as a weekend-closer are the real and loyal fans who appreciate seeing their favorite band live on stage, listening to music they like. This goes very much for Avatarium’s visit in Zaandam, playing a show at De Flux.
But before the Stockholm-based quintet entered the stage it was The Slayerking from Greece, acting as the opener that night. After having enjoyed a sunny Indian Summer weekend in Holland it was this trio that blew away all the good vibration within 40 minutes. The Slayerking, that’s Efthimis K, Kostas K., both known from Nightfall, and Eki on drums. These three guys ‘celebrated’ a dark mess with songs that are mainly built on doom and gothic. Visual highlight of the show was frontman Efthimis K. with a hat that reminded of one being used for a funeral march. It was a nice gimmick and fortunately things haven’t been reduced only to this extra. The trio could score some positive reactions, with the folks becoming quite enthusiastic. The Slayerking got 40 minutes on stage to warm up the crowd which they did very well. In addition they won some new friends with their powerful, but not very agile show that had the only small little downer of songs being a bit too much of the same thing only different.
Time for the main act, time for Avatarium. It’s amazing to see the development of this band. I had the pleasure to witness the band’s first show outside Sweden a few years ago, when the quintet played a show at the Afterburner of Roadburn. Songs were already great at that time, but you could sense the level of excited tension and stage fright while doing this concert. Already at that time a warm applause ended the well-done show and it was no difference three years later in Zaandam. What was different though was the stage performance. Even though it was a much smaller one than at 013, Avatarium used every square millimeter for an energetic Sunday night metal show with Jennie Ann Smith being not only an excellent singer but also a great performer. No comparison to three years ago in Tilburg. Dressed in black with a red cape, Smith evolved to an entertaining singer, always being in contact with her audience. Next to the singer it is guitarist Marcus Jidell and drummer Lars Sklold being the constant factor is this metal/rock outfit, with Jidell being the crucial musical brain behind Avatarium these days.
The five-piece from Stockholm played a full 90 minutes set that night which had a focus on the latest album “Hurricanes and Halos”. From the first note played that night, Jidell and band mates sparked the audience which reacted with clapping and enthusiastic applause after the last tone faded away in Zaadam's evening sky.
Each of the thirteen songs have been welcomed very much and even the unexpected Led Zeppelin cover sounded very good, being performed in an Avatarium fashion. The real highlight though has been three songs from the earlier days. “Girl with the Raven Mask” ignited a firework that peaked when songs like the awesome “Moonhorse” and “Avatarium” filled the room.
All in all Avatarium performed an excellent show, musically as well as performance-wise. And since De Flex is a smaller venue the show also felt like a ‘living room concert’ in an intimate atmosphere, bringing band and fans closer together with everybody leaving the room with a satisfied smile on their face.
- Into the Fire / Into the Storm
- Pearls and Coffins
- The Starless Sleep
- Run Killer Run
- In My Time of Dying
- Medusa Child
- Girl With the Raven Mask
- Deep Well
- The Sky at the Bottom of the Sea
- When Breath Turns to Air (Encore)
- Avatarium (Encore)
Location: De Flux, Zaandam, The Netherlands
Date: September 24th, 2017