Avatar, Magic Sword at Diamond Ballroom (2021)

Diamond Ballroom (Oklahoma City, OK, USA)

Avatar, Magic Sword
  AVATAR brought their cinematic Going Hunting Tour to Oklahoma City's Diamond Ballroom on Sunday, […]
September 26, 2021


AVATAR brought their cinematic Going Hunting Tour to Oklahoma City's Diamond Ballroom on Sunday, September 26, 2021. AVATAR are known for their high-energy, theatrical performances and this show was no different. When the band first appears on stage they stand together with white light shining on them (a concert photographer's dream), and they begin playing, but remain mostly unmoving as the show opens — something unusual for them.

But this is only a ruse.

The opening song is "Colossus" and it doesn't take long for AVATAR's signature energy and animation to emerge. This was my first time seeing them live, but I had always heard what a great show they put on, and I was not disappointed. They truly are one of the best live metal bands performing today.

I was especially excited to get to photograph their show during one of my favorite songs "Bloody Angel" even if it had a lot of red light throughout. AVATAR is absolutely one of the most fun bands to be able to photograph — they're always moving, they're theatrical, the lights are awesome, the makeup is great — they just look cool, even in their overalls.

Right before the tour began, AVATAR released two very different songs "Going Hunting" and "Barren Cloth Mother." The former is dramatic and operatic with a lot of clean vocals — it's extremely catchy. However, "Barren Cloth Mother" is heavy, fast-paced, and dark. Johannes Eckerström includes a lot of screams in this song along with his incredible singing. There's even a "blegh" at the very beginning. Only "Going Hunting" made it into the setlist for this show, though. For obvious reasons, it wasn't left out.

Opening for AVATAR for this show is just one band, MAGIC SWORD, an instrumental band donning cloaks and masks, with Star Trek-like glowing bands on their heads. The Boise, Idaho band is described as electronic synthwave and its members are known only as The Keeper, The Seer, and The Weaver. There is almost no lighting during their set aside from their glowing headbands and not a lot of movement from the band members. It's definitely a much different show than what happens right after them.

Nu-metal newcomers TALLAH had been on the tour previously, but had to drop off before the Oklahoma City date due to some members and crew contracting COVID-19, which has been the sad story behind many postponements and cancellations this year. I was especially bummed about them having to drop, because I'd been a fan since seeing them live in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2018 and was excited to finally see them again. Damnit, COVID.


INTRO - Bruckner's Symphony No. 8:IV. Finale

1. Colossus
2. Let It Burn
3. Silence in the Age of Apes
4. Bloody Angel
5. Child
6. The Eagle Has Landed
7. Paint Me Red
8. A Secret Door
9. For the Swarm
10. Torn Apart
11. Gun
12. Going Hunting
13. Pigfucker
14. A Statue of the King
15. The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country

Shea Higgerson

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