Live Review: Ghost – 09/05/14

This is something of a throwback for me. It’s been at least five years since I last reviewed a concert when I used to work for a Rock/Metal magazine. Actually, I haven’t been in a concert for quite some time. Whether for my own laziness or because I’m becoming a grumpy old man, it was also quite a while since I last looked at a name that made me want to get up an actually go.

And, lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened last Friday night. I have watched Swedish band Ghost (or Ghost B.C. if you prefer) three times prior. I’ve seen them at Sonisphere in Finland in 2012, at Orion in New Jersey also in 2012 and opening for Maiden and Slayer in Sao Paulo last year. Therefore, not only I knew I was in for a treat as this time there was a huge difference: it was their individual concert, with only their sound and lighting system. It promised to be a great experience.

And I must tell you: I decided on my way to the concert that I would write about it in my blog because a) it was worth it b) I kinda missed doing it. It was my profession for such a long time and I did have wonderful moments with it, so it’s cool to revisit any time I want it.

The venue was not packed, but it sure received a good crowd. I was at the same place some time ago for Blue Oyster Cult and Queensryche (the spitting concert, for all you Queensryche buffs out there) and this time there was more people.

The lights went down and the intro “Masked Ball” started. The roaring of the crowd was huge and as soon as The Nameless Ghouls started playing “Infestissuman”, the title-track from the new album, they were jumping up and down.

There’s no denying that Papa Emeritus II has a giant charisma. But I must confess that when he came on stage with that kind of staff in his hand and in those clothes, my first reaction was laughing. However, what matters is that the band is great and the sound was crystal clear and heavy. Papa is an okay singer. You can clearly notice that he holds back a little from the studio versions (just like 90% of singers do). But nothing that keeps the songs of sounding great.

They followed with “Per Aspera ad Inferi” and with the wonderful “Ritual”. Dare I say that this song is about to become a Metal anthem for the ages? Only time will tell. “Prime Mover”, “Satan Prayer”, “Secular Haze”, “Con Clavi Con Dio”, “Elizabeth”, “Body and Blood” and “Death Knell” were all sung by the crowd from the top of their lungs assuring everybody there that we may be witnessing the rising of an underground phenomenon.

Next was their killer version for The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun”. It’s amazing how they turned one of the Fab Four’s most happy songs into something borderline eerie. “Stand By Him”, “Genesis”, “Year Zero” and the Roky Erickson cover “If You Have Ghosts” closed the first part of the set.

The encore was “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” and “Monstrance Clock”, both hailed with enormous enthusiasm by the crowd, marking a great ending to a great show. Even for me, who went to the concert already thinking it would be good, it was much better than expected. The band is tight and they are getting better each night, this is one that we should definitely watch close.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.

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