Avatar w/ The Brains at Old National Center


For the niche metal fan who loves both head-banging metal and the theatricality of the circus, there aren’t many opportunities to attend a single concert that satisfies every carny desire. Luckily for them, next Friday, February 9th, the Old National Center in downtown Indianapolis will be featuring several musical guests who share this niche. Among them include Avatar, The Brains, and Hellzapoppin.


Avatar is a Swedish metal and rock band built around the image of a circus sideshow act. While I’ve never seen them perform a live show, I imagine it will be something very different from what I’m used to. These guys take the visual aspect of a concert by the reins. They dress up in circus costumes and face paint and play death metal and rock. It’s safe to assume that they consider themselves not only musicians, but showmen.

A lot of Avatar’s music is riff-heavy. Their Facebook’s bio page goes into more detail about their particular inspirations. “‘We’re in this weird field, caught in a triangle between extreme metal, rock n’ roll and what can be described as Avant-garde,’confesses Avatar vocalist Johannes Eckerström”.

The members of Avatar are Johannes Michael Gustaf Eckerström (vocals), John Alfredsson (drums), Kungen (guitar), Tim Öhrström (guitar), and Henrik Sandelin (bass). To find out more about this death metal circus, you can visit their website. You can also find Avatar on Facebook.

The Brains

The Brains is a Canadian Psychobilly band from Montreal that fuses the genres of punk, bluegrass, and psychedelic rock. Their website states that “They perform to full houses in Canada, Europe, Mexico and the United States”. These shows also see The Brains “alongside bands like Rancid, Mad Sin, Nekromantix, Offspring, and Reverend Horton Heat”.

What The Brains do, they do it well. Their music captures the raw energy of both punk and bluegrass. Add in a dash of psychedelic weirdness, and you’ve got one unique band. The Brains released their debut album “Undead Nation” in 2010. Since then, The Brains have released four additional albums. The most recent of these is their 2015 release “Out In The Dark”.

The Brains are Rene D La Muerte (guitar, vocals), Colin the Dead (double bass), and Phil The Beast (drums). For more information on The Brains, you can visit their website or Facebook page. You can also find The Brains on Bandcamp.


Hellzapoppin is a legitimate circus sideshow. The following is straight from their website. “Hellzapoppin is a world renown theatrical ROCK-N-ROLL circus stunt-show where some of the deadliest stunts in live entertainment are performed to a LIVE audience with emphatic rock music”. Some of their stunts include fire-breathing, acrobatics, knife throwing, and sword swallowing.

So it looks like if you really are in the niche of where circus meets rock and metal, this is the perfect show for you.


The show at The Old National Center starts at 7:30 pm next Friday, February 9th. Doors  open at 6:30, and tickets are twenty-five dollars.

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