Avatar, The Mahones, Dylan Walshe @ Nosturi
Avatar Country World Tour, 25.2.2019, Helsinki, Nosturi, Finland – PHOTO GALLERY HERE
Monday evening in Helsinki, even for Finland not quite an ideal setting for a Metal gig. Well, depending on the band, and in this case I was not worried too much. Avatar do not play on Finnish stages too often…
And indeed, there was a telling queue at the entrance and also the balcony was accessible which means that more than those 132 who had clicked “going” on a certain social media platform would be present. They were already at the venue for the set of solo artist Dylan Walshe. He entertained us with an appealing mix of Alternative Rock / Folk Rock and protest song and some nice stories in between. About the tour he had been part of since mid-January then split then reunited in Helsinki where he played for the first time ever. and that he recognized some of the Avatar fans in the crowd who literally follow this tour… And judging the audience reaction, it should not be Dylan’s last appearance on a Helsinki stage. As a final bonus Katie of The Mahones joined him on accordion – and later Dylan returned the favour playing some songs with her band later.
The Mahones, or the Irish Punk-Brigade, showed us right afterwards what to expect of Irish Punk – dance-inducing Irish Folk tunes, some heavy Rock riffs and a truly Proto-Punk attitude. Finny McConnell’s voice reminded me strongly of Phil Lynott, and also the music has this instant-ear candy appeal. I could understand why this act was chosen as Avatar warm-up – a lot of action and positive energy on stage, with such a hyperactive drummer that it seemed impossible to get a fully focused photo of that guy… Well, let’s hope it does not take another 14 years until this band plays in Helsinki again.
As adapting the stage for Avatar was a little bit more demanding than after a one-man-act, we had a chance to acoustically enjoy a trip to Avatar Country. Pretty wacky just like the band – yet thanks to recent political developments some of the Avatar Parallel Universe does not seem to be sooo outlandish any more…
Musically the Swedes range from Queensryche to Napalm Death, delivering catchy tunes as well as brutal riffs – and they have this incredibly versatile front man who can sing effortlessly pretty much any Metal style you can think of.
When compiling our anniversary special I realized that Avatar had independently impressed a lot of our crew in those years… despite the fact that this front man can be really creepy in his performance channeling The Joker, the IT clown and a circus director from hell. And yes, we received a Metal circus featuring a story line straight from Avatar country. A well planned and perfectly choreographed trip into a parallel universe, it seems with a continuing story line – a great show in every aspect. There was not a single boring moment and the audience had all reason to be cheering enthusiastically.
Yet what surprised me were some personal words of front man Johannes (“Metaltime is the bridge between good and bad times”) and his declaration of love for Helsinki, his new home. Well, I could have made the same declaration, for me it was a surprise it came from a Swedish musician, as Gothenburg is also a legendary Metal place… “You want to make it here as a Metal band” he said and that playing here is as adrenaline inducing as “playing at your school”. And then he thanked the crowd for showing up on a Monday… indeed, the venue wasn’t sold out but pretty full… and he stated that “Metal never gets old” – true that. And I assume that Avatar’s music has some classics status in the Metal community already…
Now in early March the European club tour is done, but the world tour is continuing on another continent; in summer the band is back in Europe for festival shows. Check out the tour dates, because you should not miss this band!