Tag Archives: Avatar

Avatar, The Brains and The Hellzapoppin Circus SideShow at The Regent

The Hellzapoppin Circus SideShow plus musical extravaganza presented dangerous, extreme and even death-defying stunts in a colorful and outrageous night at The Regent on January 24. Billed as a psychobilly and heavy metal spectacle,  the event was very theatrical, way over the top and, in most aspects, incredibly silly and campy.

The shocking and fantastical bill opener — The Hellzapoppin Circus SideShow — featured the talents of Dan Sherry, an illusionist and conjuror, the half man daredevil Shorty E Dangerous, who attempted and succeeded in walking on his bare hands unscathed on shreds of broken glass, and Ryan Stock who swallowed swords (both straight and curved), put a chainsaw into his mouth and balanced very heavy weights (a bowling ball for one!) using metal hooks through his nose that could have ripped his insides apart. Bryan “the Govna” Graves, the creator, producer and director of The Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow (as well as sideshow stuntman himself) served as the dark and sinister host.

Up next, from Montreal, Canada, The Brains, featuring Rene D La Muerte on guitar and vocals, Collin The Dead on double bass and Phil The Beast on drums, gave a strong and solid performance combining a Stray Cats feel with meat and potatoes punk rock. The Brains have been together since the early 2000s and have released seven albums along with one EP. The dynamic three-piece got the amped-up crowd psyched for the headliner: Swedish rockers Avatar, known for falling into various musical genres such as groove metal, melodic death metal, avant-garde metal and progressive metal.

The five-member band has created a backstory and mythology all of their own, with a flamboyant and grandiose stage show that is as unusual as it is unforgettable and surreal, nodding to Alice Copper, among others, for its creative inspiration. Avatar all wear uniforms and paid tribute to the guitar virtuoso of the band that they referred to constantly as “The King” – Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby, who made a grand entrance on the stage, literally rising from the bottom of it upon a makeshift throne.

The lead singer Johannes Eckerstrom even looked like Alice Cooper, wearing black and white face paint and making exaggerated facial expressions that were creepy, menacing, demented and, at many times, comically farcical. Most impressive was the amount of stamina and gusto he exhibited as a singer by showing his range of vocal styles/tricks/effects. The biggest random surprise of the night was when Eckerstrom came out playing a trombone. This act really showed his versatility and stood in stark contrast to the music.

What tended to get lost and overshadowed in a show like this, with all the pomp and circumstance, is what good musicians Avatar really are; there is great diversity and craft in their compositions. Avatar recently released its seventh album, “Avatar Country.” Going back to a time (maybe the 1980s?) when appearances meant as much as the songs themselves, or maybe more, Avatar is a throwback in a sense that they create heightened sense of reality for the listener. Basically, they developed another new reality in which an audience can join in and inhabit for a night — visually as well as aurally. The response to Avatar was immediately enthusiastic as it was fanatical. Hanging on every lyric, power chord and onstage posture, the crowd went wild, screaming and shaking their long hair in unison with the group in almost a rhythmic, trance-induced heavy metal dance at one and simpatico with Avatar.





An awe-inspiring, momentous music lineup led by iconic bands Tool (in a rare U.S. festival appearance) and Avenged Sevenfold has been unveiled for the fifth annual Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK, which returns to Sacramento, California’s Discovery Park Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23.

California’s biggest rock festival will feature over 35 bands on three stages atDiscovery Park, conveniently located near downtown Sacramento, where the American and Sacramento Rivers meet. The current daily music lineup forMonster Energy AFTERSHOCK is as follows:

Saturday, October 22: Tool, Slayer, Primus, Meshuggah, The Pretty Reckless, Anthrax, Baroness, Face To Face, Deafheaven, Motionless In White, Avatar, American Sharks, Whores, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Shrine, Aeges, Big Jesus
Sunday, October 23: Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Disturbed, Puscifer, Chevelle, Ghost, Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction, Zakk Sabbath, Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Ignite, Some Fear None, Silver Snakes

“We’re excited to give fans a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Tool,Avenged Sevenfold, Primus, Slayer, Korn, Disturbed and the rest of this great lineup all together during this special weekend. Discovery Park is such a unique venue that allows us to put on an experience on a grand scale, but in an intimate setting that sets AFTERSHOCK apart,” says Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK founder and producer Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents.

Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 8 at Noon PT at www.AFTERSHOCKConcert.com. Tickets are limited and will go fast. Fans are encouraged to buy early so they don’t miss out on the chance to see so many iconic rock bands at one American festival. See below for details.

In 2015, a sold-out crowd of 45,000 was in attendance at Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK to experience the best hard rock, metal and alternative artists, along with gourmet food trucks and extensive onsite experiences. Loudwire.comcalled the festival “one of the nation’s premier music events.” Elsewhere, Johnny Firecloud of CraveOnline.com noted, “…Aftershock has found a new thread, and the way they’re approaching the festival ecosystem may just defibrillate the soul of rock fests in America. They’re mixing vibrant alt rock colors into what was typically a monolithic skull-and-crossbones metal template of black on black, side-stepping the big-box corporate model and building peripheral excitement through on-site activities, enhanced Gourmet Man Food attractions and more” (February 18, 2016).

Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 8 at Noon PT at www.AFTERSHOCKConcert.com. Tickets and VIP packages will initially be priced as follows (increasing in the coming weeks):

General Admission Weekend: $149.50
General Admission Single Day: $89.50
GA Weekend 4-Pack: $476.00
VIP Weekend: $279.50
VIP Single Day: $154.50
VIP Zippo 2-Packs: $679.00 (includes VIP amenities + 2 Monster Energy Aftershock 2016 commemorative Zippos)

VIP passes include: VIP entrance lanes into venue, shaded VIP hang area with seating for dining, seated and standing viewing area of main stage South (left), video screens featuring live feed from main stages inside VIP hang area, upgraded food and drink selections (for purchase), dedicated VIP restrooms, and a commemorative Monster Energy Aftershock 2016 laminate.

Specially priced hotel + festival ticket packages make planning for Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK as easy as possible. Visit http://aftershockconcert.com/tickets/#post-2994 for more info. Discounted online hotel rates are also available through Curadora at: https://curadora.com/events/aftershock-2016-44293b99/.

Monster Energy AFTERSHOCK is also offering a Park & Ride shuttle program this year, since parking at Discovery Park is extremely limited. Each Park & Ride ticket includes parking for your vehicle at Sleep Train Arena and a non-stop shuttle directly to the festival site. Festivalgoers are encouraged to carpool to Sleep Train Arena and save. For pricing and more details, visitwww.AFTERSHOCKConcert.com.