It's not every day that a band can put on a theatrically based show and get away with it. Often, it's viewed as nothing more than a gimmick; making up for the bands lack of talent on stage.
After having seen Sweden's Son's of Satan, Ghost, last week in Niagara Falls, that logic can be put to rest. I've had a chance to see Ghost live touring all three of their studio albums, and they get better every single time!
The show started out predictably enough with "Spirit," the lead off track of their current album, Meliora. From the start, the tone was set. Papa Emeritus III enchanted the crowd in his full "pope" ensemble. They followed up with another new song "From the Pinnacle to the Pit" and one of their debut album "Stand By Him."
After this, papa ditched his mitre in favor of a slicked back head of hair; a new look for this tour. They followed up with a set containing a healthy mix of selections from each album, while heavily promoting the current release.
Additional highlights of the evening included "Con Clavi Con Dio," "Cirice," "Year Zero," "He Is," "Mummy Dust," and "Ghuleh/Zombie Queen" before closing the set with "Monstrance Clock."
The charisma of Ghost is inevitable. One would think this entire band might consist of interchangeable members whose sole purpose is to support Papa Emeritus III, their front man. One show and it's obvious this couldn't be farther from the truth. Each band member is distinguishable from the other both in how they play and in their on stage presence; a hard feat considering they all dress in identical garb and each wear the same mask on stage.
Rhythm guitarist, Omega, has a monstrous presence on stage. This is both due to his large stature as well as the way he commands his space. If the ohm logo Ω on his guitar doesn't give him away, surely his "Omega stomp" will, while he storms the stage commanding the awe of the crowd and easily becoming another favorite. Meanwhile, Alpha (former known as Fire) and Water dominate center stage and stage left, respectively.
In a particularly fun moment during the show, the three guitarists sat at the foot of the drum riser to give us an acoustic version of their cover "If You Have Ghost," which I'll admit, was more fun acoustic that I'd have thought it could be.
The band rounds out with Air on keyboards and Earth on the drums. Individually, I suppose you could get away with calling them Nameless Ghouls still. From the energy in the crowd however, it was apparent that the majority of those in attendance knew each of them by name, even if only stage names.
Ghost has very quickly achieved a cult following that rivals the very best of any act playing the larger club and festival scene today. It's no wonder their fans are traveling far and wide to catch as many live "rituals" as they can.
2. From the Pinnacle to the Pit
3. Stand by Him
4. Con Clavi Con Dio
5. Per Aspera ad Inferi
6. Body and Blood
7. Devil Church
9. Year Zero
10. He Is
11. Mummy Dust
12. If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover)
14. Ghuleh / Zombie Queen
16. Monstance Clock
"Cirice" music video:
Ghost photo set from Niagara Falls, NY - April 17th, 2016