jakub | May 22, 2023

Avatar Rocks The Areas Building Foundations Around Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, Florida on May 19, 2023



On Friday May 19, 2023, the zany metal band from Sweden, Avatar rocked the courtyard walls of Jannus Live. Opening for Avatar was Chicago based metalcore band Veil Of Maya and fellow countrymen, the melodic death metal band Orbit Culture. The line formed around the block and continued to grow until the doors opened at 6:30pm. Avatar T-shirts and painted faces matching  the makeup of Johannes Eckerström, which has become the bands trademark, filled the line. Fans shuffled in at 6:30pm, grabbing a cold beverage and took their places in front of the seven foot high stage. 

Jannus Live is one of the most iconic venues in the Tampa Bay area located in St. Petersburg, Florida, it’s a general admission, standing room only concert location. It’s basically a courtyard between tall buildings in downtown St. Petersburg. Inside, the north side of the courtyard has the back doors of the neighboring restaurants and bars witch they opened up to almost a food court feel. Need a beer or a slice of pizza, those businesses were happy to oblige. It’s a cool neighborhood feel to experiencing a concert here, and there is even a tree growing out of the middle of the courtyard!

The night’s action was packed with circle pits, crowd surfing, and metal head bagging from the stage and throughout the audience. Security was even kind enough handing out cold water bottles to the fans in the first row between bands knowing that they couldn’t leave for refreshments, or they would be giving up their sacred place in front of the stage. This is a great venue for a live music show!

Orbit Culture was right on time at 7:30pm to get the party started as the broke into the set with “Open Eye ” from the album Nija which was released in 2020. Almost from the start, all of the members started rocking the metal hair flips that are synonymous with any metal show. They were getting the audience ready for the most extreme hair metal performances in existence, Avatar.



Marc Okubo – Lead Guitar/Rhythm Guitar/Programming 

Sam Applebaum – Drums 

Danny Hauser – Bass 

Lukas Magyar – Vocals





1.) Open Eye 

2.) Strangler 

3.) North Star of Nija 

4.) The Shadowing 

5.) Alienated 

6.) Vultures of North 

7.) Saw


Veil Of Maya was next on the bill and they were also on time at 8:35pm as hair flips and fiery guitar riffs hit the stage. The band had just released their seventh studio album Mother, on May 12, 2023. The band performed three tracks from the album, “Godhead”, “Red Fur”, and “Synthwave Vegan.”  Niklas Karlsson encouraged the crowd to get the circle pit in full motion and the audience were happy to grant that request. Soon, crowd surfers began to appear, supported by fellow fans tracking their way to the stage on their hands. This band is a powerhouse and tops on any metal lovers list!



Niklas Karlsson – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar 

Richard Hansson – Lead Guitar

Fredrik Lennartsson – Bass 

Christopher Wallerstedt – Drums 





1.) Viscera 

2.) Whistleblower 

3.) Doublespeak 

4.) Leeloo 

5.) Overthrow 

6.) Lisbeth 

7.) Red Fur 

8.) Godhead 

9.) Synthwave Vegan 

10.) Outsider 

11.) Outrun 

12.) Mikasa


At 9:35pm, Avatar started their show by sending out drummer John Alfredsson in a cloud of smoke as he stood behind the drum kit methodically striking the skins to a chime and the chants of the crowd, Avatar, Avatar, Avatar! Then the rest of the band took the stage entering through curtains onto platforms that were evenly spaced. Streams of sparks began to fly in the air projecting out of the stage between the band members as they stood at attention. They kicked off the show with “Dance Devil Dance” off this year’s newly released album by the same name. Coincidentally, it’s also the name of this tour. They would go on to play four songs off Dance Devil Dance. Others on their setlist from Dance Devil Dance were “Chimp Mosh Pit”, “Valley of Disease”, “Do You Feel in Control” and “The Dirt I’m Buried In” which was played in the three song encore. “The Dirt I’m Buried In” is very popular and has acquired over 3.5 million YouTube views in just five months.

The three guitarists Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby, Henrik Sandelin, and Tim Öhrström just tore the strings off their axes as they rocked the house flinging their locks forward and backwards really giving the fans a visual spectacle. John Alfredsson kept the beat in his non emotional way, with little movement or facial expressions from behind his large kit. The real showman of this band is Johannes Eckerström, part scary clown face, part court jester, and a bigger part being a larger than life rock n roll front man. Eckerström was dressed in a red and black leather suit complete with tails, wearing a top hat, and walking cane in hand. Stalking the stage with his 6 foot 4 inch frame, and his dramatic facial makeup, he is a force to be reckoned with as he belts out the lyrics and growls to the crowd. Many fans could be seen in the audience with full Eckerström signature facial makeup, it’s truly a sight to see.

At one point, he assured the crowd not to be alarmed, that Avatar was only here to take your women and steal your jobs! I find him rather amusing as it’s good fun and just part of the show. If you haven’t experienced the “Freak Show” of Avatar, you are missing an extremely entertaining show of great musicians and more!



Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby – Guitars

John Alfredsson – Drums

Johannes Eckerström – Lead Vocals/Trumpet/Piano/Keyboards

Henrik Sandelin – Bass/Backing Vocals

Tim Öhrström – Guitars/Backing Vocals





1.) Dance Devil Dance 

2.) The Eagle Has Landed 

3.) Valley of Disease 

4.) Chimp Mosh Pit 

5.) Scream Until You Wake

6.) Bloody Angel 

7.) For the Swarm 

8.) Puppet Show 

9.) When the Snow Lies Red 

10.) Do You Feel in Control 

11.) Black Waltz 

12.) Tower

13.) Colossus 

14.) Let It Burn 

15.) A Statue of the King 


16.) The Dirt I’m Buried In 

17.) Smells Like a Freakshow 

18.) Hail the Apocalypse







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