Avatar Bring the Freak Show to San Diego

Avatar showed us how they do a freak show in Avatar Country!
(L to R: Bassist Henrik Sanderlin, drummer John Alfredsson, vocalist/ the Klown’s compadre Johannes Eckerström and guitarist Tim Öhrström)

The Ugh Metal hooligans wore their Sunday best and headed over to the carnival or should I say the freak show! For once, the divalicious duo known as Jenny Oh and the Klown were not the stars of this particular freak show but they were still giddy. Oh, you didn’t know about this spectacle? Why it was on Oct.22 at the Brick By Brick! Still not ringing a bell? Well let me enlighten you ladies and germs!

This circus was no ordinary circus and it became a reunion of a sort because it was a show in which the Klown’s former clown college buddy headlined. That’s right the Klown got to see his buddy’s budding project and his band’s name shine brightly on the marquee. You probably haven’t heard of them but they go by the name of Avatar 😉 But before the hooligans could be wowed by the eccentric quintet, their excitement was set on “Overdrive” by their local heavy metal heroes.

Jenny Oh: Man! It’s been a good year to be us! PSYCHE! It’s always great to be us especially when we get to see other First Impressions alumni in action. We were not the only gruesome twosome in da haus!

Chuggo the Klown: Minus the gruesome part, it was Tzimani. The Klown shall take his nose off for the brotherly duo. Why? Before you start prying the rhetorical question, they stepped up big time when they were called in. They surprised us all when vocalist/guitarist Eddie Vazquez announced that they were the only other band on the bill. It was their best time to shine. Kudos to you Vazquez brothers!

First Impressions alumni/hometown heroes Tzimani stepped up to the place and putour excitement on “Overdrive”
(L to R: Drummer Sebastian Vazquez and guitarist/frontman Eddie Vazquez)

J: Tzimani set up shop, and made that stage their biatch! Soon enough they began playing songs that were not included in their demo such as “Overdrive,” and dished out their hits “Final Hour” and “Get Me Out Of Here” which are available in their demo. These bros emitted a tremendous confidence and were still glowing from their recent inaugural American tour.

C: Right you are disgruntled one. “We Are The One” and “Endless Road” were among the new batch of songs that the Klown had the pleasure of hearing for the first time. The Klown was even surrounded by people who had never heard of this duo and talked about them right after.

“Get Me Out Of Here” said no one during Tzimani’s set!

J: Why would I be disgruntled especially after watching Tzimani?! While Eddie stirred our hearts and limbs with his vocals and riffs, drummer Sebastian Vazquez fed this vigorous set with more life causing everyone’s energy level to be on maximum “Overdrive”! *looks into non-existent camera and winks* You get it?!

Sebastian Vazquez of Tzimani charged us with tons of energy, we were more energetic than the San Onofre boobies!

(cont.): Anyway, Eddie and Sebastian turned the pit into a mini dance floor. That’s right everyone, not one metalhead was spared from the dancing bug when Tzimani was on that stage. Tzimani’s mind blowing and intoxicating performance may have ripped the fabric of time, and space, and ended too soon, but alas these gentlemen made way for your Swedish compadre’s band.

Eddie Vazquez of Tzimani giving us one last shout for their last hoorah.

C: Yeah, their performance was solid. Once again, it was great that those guys filled in when they were called up! But now the Klown must talk about a fellow clown, and the Klown’s former college roommate who happens to have a band now.

J: Good to see he kept the spirit of the circus alive by playing a lot of Swedish nursery rhymes, and old timey music IN SWEDISH! What more could we want?!

C: Well… for one a phone call. We could have pregamed before the show. The Klown and Johannes Eckerström could have had a proper reunion of the Lambda Omicron Lambda house! Two… well, the Klown can’t really think of another thing to ask for.

The Klown’s old college buddy, Johannes Eckerström and his unknown band called Avatar came to town. You heard of em?

J: Johannes is off to bigger and better things, he don’t wanna hang with you no more! After we all warmed ourselves up with these fun lil tunes, Avatar went in for the kill and started with “Hail The Apocalypse.” I was not expecting our favorite freaks to drop this hit so soon into the set. But no complaints here!

C: Up yours! Johannes and the Klown are good friends and were great frat brothers! L.O.L. fun as hell! Oh… the Klown now gets the frat motto. In these troubled times of political turmoil, Johannes offered us citizenship to Avatar Country for those worthy enough. Of course the Klown’s history will make him a first priority for Avatar Country. Luckily the requirement for this application was to join Johannes with their national anthem, “New Land.”

Our fashionable Avatar Country spirit guide.

J: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY ‘MERICANISM! I have a feeling that my citizenship will not be too  far beyond this new day and you bet I will be singing this “New Land” at the top of my lungs loudly and proudly while I start anew in Avatar Country! I shall pick a villa where “The Eagle Has Landed” and sing this popular hit too. But the ever so generous Avatar didn’t just belt out their current hits, they blasted us to the past, and unleashed more classics!

C: Either way Johannes knew the Klown well and sang one of his favorite songs, “Bloody Angel.” But the one thing that happened that totally emphasized the fun loving clown in the frat house was his love of dancing and insisted that everyone join him for the surf rock anthem “Tooth, Beak and Claw.” “Dance, San Diego, Dance!” he yelled out and man did he get what he wanted.

How could we say no to that face?

J: We were all part of a 60’s beach montage soon enough! But we were no match for Johannes in this dance contest. Avatar added a hint of darkness to this fun fest and took us out to the “Black Waltz” and also performed “Paint Me Red.” MORE CLASSICS PLS!

C: The Klown doesn’t want to admit this but Johannes honored the clownhood better than the Klown and the U.S. Prez. He donned Pagliachi’s famous garbs and made the Klown feel… feelings with “Fiddler’s Farewell.”

Johannes channelling his inner Pagliachi…no YOU are crying!

J: We were a glass case of emotions! That Pagliachi costume was MUAH! Perfection! With this outfit, Johannes managed to add a subtle touch of lightheartedness to this heartbreaking anthem. Not that he needed extra outfits, and bells and other fancy stuff to enhance his performance. Your compadre also added a lot of heart in to the “Snow Lies Red.” “I will remember you, San Diego.” He said when he finished performing this song. *Swoons* Isn’t he dreamy?

C: Of course, he would. One thing that should go without saying is when the band took a breather. The Klown’s brochacho acknowledged Ugh Metal’s city by stating that when the presales were taking place, the band was being persuaded to cancel because they had only sold 17 tickets prior to the day.


(cont.): Of course, some booed and Johannes simply halted the jeers by saying, “Why are you booing? You’re already here. There’s no point in booing when you’re already here!” He also poked fun at the fact that the show was on a Sunday night and how everyone else could be spending their time doing something else and said he would turn on some Netflix to watch Gilmore Girls.

J: I’m glad they persevered and in true San Diego fashion, the venue filled up on the day of. It is in our nature to procrastinate and to be indecisive 😉 This stop was their last headlining show till they shared the stage with In This Moment for their remaining dates. This deal was sweeter than cotton candy and tequila gummy bears combined! So with that said Avatar continued to make our blood boil with excitement with one of the most highly demanded song “For The Swarm.”

Bassist Henrik Sanderlin, vocalist/ the Klown’s compadre Johannes Eckerström, and guitarist Tim Öhrström rile up the swarm.

C: As much as the Klown has been emphasizing Johannes’s dedication to clowndom, the Klown has neglected the rest of the band who also had a huge input visually. Like the times Jonas Jarlsby kicked off some songs, did his solos or would either be face to face with Johannes, and how guitarist Tim Öhrström, bassist Henrik Sandelin and their eccentric skinsman John Alfredsson would also be playful.

J: Awww yeah! It takes a team to run a proper freak show and they did it so great especially when they all froze after finishing up a song and built the anticipation. Yes, there was plenty of giggling from our part as the quintet stood perfectly still like mannequins. Well poor Alfredsson had a mean hand cramp and discretely shook his hand as he stayed in character. Kudos to him! When these guys weren’t wowing us with their playful showmanship, they were having a lot of fun and poking fun at each other.

Ladies and gentlemen, our heroes have returned again!…Well actually they were SD virgins 😉

C: Well… it “Smells Like a Freak Show.” At least that’s what the fellow clown said before performing. The Klown became a little self-conscious regarding that because he swears he showered before going to the show. Good to know that Johannes still practices the teaching of Pennywise and busted out the red balloons. The Klown envies his piousness. The best part was when we got a little bit of the Blues that night.

The Klown is overjoyed to see his buddy Johannes Eckerström praise IT!

J: Stick ‘em up for “Black Water”! This was a showdown we were waiting for a long time son. Avatar’s show of oddities was to die for and was the hottest and most underrated show this year but their faithful legion showed up threefold that night despite of the pessimistic presale numbers.

C: It’s a great thing that that didn’t stop the band in general. In fact, we received the best news of the night. That news was that of Johannes announcing that they would be returning with more acts next time. He liked what he saw, we impressed him, and he said that we could all brag about the time we saw them before they did when they return because we’re Californians and love that hipster shit. He’s not half wrong.

This article is not all about Johannes, its about Avatar’s timeless friendship and the Klown’s delusional one.
(Guitarist Jonas Jarlsby, vocalist/the Klown’s “compadre” Johannes Eckerström and guitarist Tim Öhrström)

C (cont.):It was great seeing these guys and, as if it hasn’t been emphasized enough, this was one hell of a show. For those who pondered, you missed out on a great show. All we can do is cross our finger and look out to for the next time the freak show lands again. As for the Klown, he just wishes Johannes would have had the time to catch up a bit and is looking forwards to Avatar Country this January!


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