Avatar landed at The Machine Shop for a rocking evening with support from Sunflower Dead, Meka Nism, and Givensix.

Opening the night was Givensix from the Flint, Michigan with their progressive and death metal sound. Givensix has been around for several years and released their debut album, Harvest, in 2011.

Bassist Zach Thomas laid down a deep groove and stood out on stage, not just for his bass playing, but also the fact he is quite tall and especially animated. He played up to the crowd, and they loved it.

Givensix has a solid fanbase, and it was evident at this hometown show with the large crowd that came out to support them. The lineup includes Thomas plus Jamie Taylor (vocals), Jason Cole (guitar), Eric Cole (drums), and Johne Leemhuis (samples).

Next up was Meka Nism from Orlando, Florida. They are hard to peg for a single style of music as their sound crosses multiple genres including metal, progressive rock, punk, and hard rock.

Meka Nism’s set drew from their two EPs, The Shift and The Dance At the End of the World. They also have a live release recorded at The Machine Shop in December 2015. The band lineup includes Ms. Meka Shama Nism (vocals), Bobby Keller (guitar), Freedom (guitar), Alvin Bauer (bass), Jeremy Mansfield (drums), and Jay Adkisson (keyboards).

Sunflower Dead from Long Beach, California, hit the stage next with their unique combination of rock, metal, and alternative. With their makeup and eccentric lead singer, they are as much fun to listen to as they are to watch; the crowd connected with them immediately.

Sunflower Dead wasted no time getting the crowd pumped up for the headliner with a setlist that included “It’s Time to Get Weird,” “My Mother Mortis,” and “I’ll Burn It.”

The band lineup is Michael Del Pizzo (vocals, accordion, piano), Jaboo (lead guitar), Jamie Teissere (guitar), Leighton “Lats” Kearns (bass), and Jimmy Schultz (drums).

The band is touring in support of their second release, It’s Time to Get Weird (2015). After completing the tour with Avatar at the end of May, they will provide support for Hellyeah well into August.

Avatar finally took the stage and the crowd went wild. Touring in support of their latest album, Feathers & Flesh, the band from Göteborg, Sweden tore through a set that drew from several of their releases. This included new tracks, “The Eagle Has Landed” and “House of Eternal Hunt,” and many other favorites including “Hail the Apocalypse,” “Bloody Angel”, and “Smells Like a Freakshow.”

Avatar is also a visual band, which is part of the appeal of their live show. Johannes on vocals is a top-notch frontman and adeptly engages the crowd. It is hard not to get pulled in with his stage presence and theatrical makeup.

Avatar is Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerström (vocals), John Alfredsson (drums), Kungen (guitar), Tim Öhrström (guitar), and Henrik Sandelin (bass).

Avatar is touring the US through May before heading back to Europe for some summer dates.

The complete setlist for Avatar was “House of Eternal Hunt,” “Hail the Apocalypse,” “Ready for the Ride,” “Tooth, Beak, and Claw,” “Bloody Angel,” “Get In Line,” “The Eagle Has Landed,” “Vultures Fly,” “Black Waltz,” “Tower,” “Paint Me Red,” “Smells Like a Freakshow,” “For the Swarm,” “Tsar Bomba”, and “Let It Burn.”

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