Avatar – Skyway Theater – Minneapolis MN – May 12th 2023

The Skyway Theatre Presents: Avatar, Veil of Maya, and Orbit Culture

Photos and Review By: Jake Hageman

At the Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis, metalheads gathered for an electrifying night featuring Orbit Culture, followed by Veil of Maya, and the unforgettable performance by Avatar. The concert was a wild and intense experience, and it makes me wish I was back at the show.

Kicking off the night was Orbit Culture, a band that holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite metal acts. I’ve been listening to their music for the past six years and finally had the chance to see them live. Their powerful riffs and high energy set the perfect tone for the evening. Tracks like “North Star of Nija” and “Vultures of North” had the audience headbanging in unison. Orbit Culture’s tight chemistry and stage presence made a lasting impression on the crowd. After shooting my first 3 songs, I went in the crowd and overheard a lot of people saying things like “Holy crap, these guys are fricken awesome!”, “Damn, these guys are heavy as hell!”. I know for a fact that Orbit Culture gained a lot of new fans. Seeing and being able to photograph them perform was a dream come true, especially after catching their powerful set at Blue Ridge Rockfest last year.

Orbit Culture Setlist: Open Eye – Strangler – North Star of Nija – The Shadowing – Alienated – Vultures of North – Saw

Veil of Maya was up next, and they also did a great job at getting the crowd moving. I personally haven’t listened to a lot of their music, but they sounded pretty great! Tracks like “Mikasa” and “Whistleblower” sent fans crazy, creating a mosh pit that surged with energy. Their technical skills and progressive sound captivated the audience, leaving them in awe of the band’s intricate guitar work and heavy breakdowns.

Veil of Maya Setlist: Viscera – Whistleblower- Doublespeak – Leeloo – Overthrow – Lisbeth – Red Fur – Godhead – Synthwave Vegan – Outsider – Outrun – Mikasa

Finally, it was time for the main event – Avatar. This was my eighth time seeing them, and they never disappoint. Avatar’s performance is always theatrical and mesmerizing. The crowd erupted in excitement as their drummer, John Alfredsson, came up and stood behind his drum kit with his hands in the air. The rest of the band was revealed by lights and pyro which was awesome to see up close! A standout moment was when frontman Johannes Eckerström surprised the audience by picking up his trombone and played the ending part of “Puppet Show” from the balcony. He also made a couple balloon animals and threw them over the rails! They played a wide range of older and new songs like their opener “Dance Devil Dance”, “Let it Burn”, and “Hail the Apocalypse”. What a great night for music in Minneapolis!

Avatar Setlist: Dance Devil Dance – The Eagle Has Landed – Valley of Disease – Chimp Mosh Pit – Scream Until You Wake – Bloody Angel – For the Swarm – Puppet Show – When the Snow Lies Red – Do You Feel in Control – Black Waltz – Tower – Let it Burn – A Statue of the King – The Dirt I’m Buried In – Smells Like a Freakshow – Hail the Apocalypse