Avatar at The NorVa in Norfolk, VA

Swedish heavy metal band Avatar welcomed concert-goers at The NorVa in Norfolk, VA to Avatar Country with open arms and tumultuous windmills.

It was a rainy Sunday evening in Norfolk, VA, but those attending the Wicked Tour Title tour stop at The NorVa either simply did not care or did not notice the inclement weather. The weather may have been stormy outside the venue doors, but inside, a different storm was brewing. A storm of excitement, headbanging, circle pits, and metal.

The evening began with The Callous Daoboys, a mathcore metalcore band from Atlanta, GA. Due to some set scheduling issues, The Callous Daoboys took the stage a full 30 minutes before initially scheduled to do so. Despite this change in the schedule, the crowd was certainly feeling the energy this seven-piece band emitted. Singer Carson Pace thanked the crowd for being there and for the other bands offering them the chance to go on tour with them. “Normally you can find us playing at a Barnes & Noble,” Pace told the crowd during his heartfelt appreciation for the opportunity.

Following The Callous Daoboys was Light The Torch. With vocalist Howard Jones, formerly of Killswitch Engage, commanding the crowd, the energy levels rose and had everyone headbanging along to the band’s setlist. Jones was nonstop on stage, rarely staying in one place for too long before finding his way back to the opposite side. Jones’ distinct vocals and guttural screams filled the venue, with mosh pits forming close to the back of the crowd for a good portion of the songs performed that night. Well-known and loved songs like “The Safety of Disbelief” were favorites among the crowd and boosted the excitement for the evening’s performances.

Finally, Avatar took the stage. Hailing all the way from Gothenburg, Sweden, this heavy metal band held nothing back from the crowd. Beginning with “Colossus,” one of the singles from their 2020 album Hunter Gatherer, the crowd was more than ready to shred with the band. Every song on the band’s setlist featured their famous windmills, which involves the members of the band spinning their long hair around to the beat of the music. Members of the crowd had constant mosh pits and circle pits going, alternating back and forth between the two forms of pits depending on the song. The band’s setlist covered music from across all of their albums, managing to truly showcase how much of a powerhouse this band is.

For those who have never had a chance to experience a performance by Avatar, it is truly a performance to remember. Between the makeup, the costumes, the theatrics, and the famous windmills, Avatar is memorable in all the right ways. There is so much to take in during one of these performances. Some moments on stage that stood out were when guitarist Jonas Jarlsby swapped out his standard costume for a gold jacket during “A Statue of a King,” singer Johannes Eckerström entertained the crowd with his trombone performance during “Puppet Show,” and then finishing off the main set (before the encore) with bubbles and colorful lights filling the air during “The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country.”

The Wicked Tour Title tour concludes on July 31 in Tuscon, AZ. 

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About Gretchen Smither 11 Articles
Gretchen is a central Virginia based photographer. Her passion for concert photography started by bringing her point and shoot camera to shows and getting as close to the stage as possible for some decent shots; after doing that for several years, she realized she wanted to pursue a more professional route. A concert is one of Gretchen's favorite places to be, so you can usually catch her capturing those moments and then rocking out to the show.