On February 1st, 2024, The Great Metal Circus tour arrived in Helsinki. American melodic death metal squad ÆTHER REALM and Swedish heavy metal juggernauts AVATAR were scheduled to play for a sold-out Tavastia.
In my opinion, ÆTHER REALM‘s performance at the AVATAR show wasn’t the best fit, with perhaps there were too many folk metal elements in their music compared to AVATAR‘s blend of heavy metal. Nevertheless, the band brought good energy to the stage, creating a lively atmosphere. Surprisingly, their set was longer than expected, lasting around 45 minutes, allowing them ample time to showcase their music. Despite my initial reservations, the audience turnout was impressive, with over half of the floor filled when they started, indicating a positive reception from the crowd.
AVATAR‘s performance at the sold-out show in Tavastia was nothing short of spectacular. Johannes, the frontman, demonstrated his prowess as a captivating performer with engaging speeches, delightful jokes, and consistently amazing facial expressions. Despite the small stage at Tavastia, designed like a circus arena but with minimal decor, the band seamlessly adapted to the intimate setting. The band’s mic stands, equipped with a spring mechanism allowing them to lower to the floor when not in use, showcased innovative design; genius. However, the venue proved to be a bit snug for a band of AVATAR‘s caliber. A memorable moment occurred midway through the show when Johannes disappeared from the stage during the song “Puppet Show,” only to reappear on the mixer stand, crafting balloon animals and contributing to the trumpet section before rushing back to the stage, adding an unexpected and entertaining twist to the performance.
In terms of overall observations, it’s worth noting that Tavastia may need to consider doubling the size of their photopit, as maneuvering became nearly impossible with seven photographers present. Additionally, overselling of the shows contributed to a very crowded atmosphere, making it challenging to move around. Other than that, AVATAR‘s show was a true spectacle. Check our photo gallery here…
Photos by Janne Puronen