Fact checking a Ghost review is fun. Should the lead singer be referred to as his current incarnation, Cardinal Copia? His more well known alias Papa Emeritus? Papa Emeritus II? Papa Emeritus III? His legal name, Tobias Forge? Is it necessary to clarify Copia/Emeritus/Forge is a Satanic priest or is that common knowledge? None of this really matters, but knowing the mythology makes the music more enjoyable.
Ghost is over the top and absurd. If you’re a teenager looking for an identity in rock and roll, it’s difficult to do better than Ghost.
Sunday night’s Warner Theatre show strengthened my 6 theories about the Swedish metal band.
Fans had no problem shelling out $75 for a hoodie and $40 for a t-shirt.
- 2. Kids love ’em!
Families, mom, dad, kids, attended as a family. The cutest concertgoers featured a mom in an official concert T, dad in an official concert T, and two young girls in homemade Ghost shirts.
- 3. They’re loud!
Security passed out earplugs and I was very grateful.
- 4. They’re so loud you’ll be able to ignore the fire alarm!
Around the fifth song, “Con Clavi Con Dio” the fire alarm in the Warner went off. It stayed on for a while. A long, long while. Unless you were in the lobby or last row, it wasn’t noticeable. Staff told me the fog machines set them off. I think they were set off during “Con Clavi Con Dio” because Cardinal Copia swung his thurible and the fog machines went from 0 to 666, smothering the first few rows in smoke. In the back, the fire alarm wasn’t even that distracting. It gave the set an act-3-in-a-horror-movie vibe, which worked even more since Copia’s current look is Heath Ledger Joker meets Nosferatu (Which was somewhat disappointing since his previous Sexy Pope look is better but it’s probably easier to dry clean dark vests and topcoats than those pointy hats so I understand the decision.).
- 5. More is more
Does Ghost need to be touring as an 8 piece? Do they need 3 guitarists and 2 keyboardists? Does the stage show need multiple risers, an elevated drum and keyboards platform and a half staircase? Nope! Absolutely not! But Ghost is not a band on a budget. Why not have three masked individuals playing chunky riffs when one can suffice?
- 6. The Illuminati is real
Or everyone in Ghost that’s not Cardinal Copia looks like they’re headed to an Illuminati sex party if anyone in the Illuminati were in shape.
Ghost is excellent gateway metal. The songs are simple, the melodies are catchy, the vocals are in a singable register and the imagery is memorable. They’re a mixture of HIM, My Chemical Romance and Meat Loaf. The songs are dark and brooding and beautiful, like His Infernal Majesty. The look has a lot in common with MCR. The theatrical nature of the performance and heaven and hell motifs are lifted from Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell I, II and III.
Ghost is built on a solid foundation of makeup, riffs, costumes and the Devil. See them live. The records are good, but they thrive live. It’s why I’m considering heading to Brooklyn for their December 15 Barclays Center show. I bet the fire alarm won’t go off.
Thanks for reading. Now that I’m done I can go back to browsing Ghost shirts on HotTopic.com. Hail Satan.