GHOST Wraps Up the U.S. Leg of "The Ultimate Tour Named Death"
in Glens Falls, New York!
By Diane DiMemmo
October 30, 2019
"So many milestones reached, so many asses wobbled, and so much fun was had.
45 touring personnel,
1 x cracking support band - NOTHING MORE,
217,416 miles covered,
55 days on tour,
86,801 Taints tickled (more or less, we might have missed a taint or two)!”
-Ghost Instagram post (10/27/19)
The band GHOST passionately possessed the stage at Cool Insuring Arena on October 26th and gave the performance of a lifetime to many devout fans who traveled hours to see the magnificent show. Tobias Forge (AKA Cardinal Copia) and his seven “Nameless Ghouls & Ghoulettes” ignited a rock and roll firestorm that captivated all of us for more than two hours.
Since 2006, the Swedish metal band GHOST has carved out quite a niche for themselves and has accomplished something few bands ever will … a mystical concoction of high-octane metal-rock, a continually evolving storyline, and anonymity; all set to a theatrical backdrop that rivals any huge Broadway production.
Their mystique is due in part to the namelessness created by their masks and makeup, as well as the intricate storyline they weave through their videos and albums. Each tour brings a “new” frontman to the band (always with freakish multi-colored eyes) ... which started with Papa Emeritus I, then progressed to Papa Emeritus II, III, Papa Nihil and currently Cardinal Copia, all portrayed by Forge. The detailed costumes along with a church-like backdrop with stained glass windows and countless steps add to the theatrics.
In addition to this elaborate showmanship, the band has racked up quite a few impressive accomplishments. Five of the band's songs have hit Billboard's Top 5 Rock chart - “Cirice" claimed the #4 spot in 2015, "From The Pinnacle to The Pit" went to #5 in 2016, and "Square Hammer" (2017), "Rats" (2018), and “Dance Macabre” (2018) all held the #1 spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart and on the Mediabase Active Rock chart. “Faith,” the band’s current single, is the third consecutive Top 10 single on the Rock Charts from PREQUELLE. Ghost has received three GRAMMY nominations: "Best Metal Performance" in 2016 for "Cirice," which they won, and "Best Rock Album" for PREQUELLE and "Best Rock Song" for "Rats" in 2019. Quite notably, their most recent album PREQUELLE debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, just underneath Kanye West and Post Malone, in front of Luke Combs and Cardi B. As all of us rockers can agree … this is no easy feat for a rock band in America today.
As I alluded to earlier, attending a Ghost show is much like going to an elaborate theatre performance. As he belts out his smooth, rich vocals, Forge glides gracefully – no, he actually seems to float - across the stage! Effortlessly tossing his microphone from hand to hand, he dances and sways around every corner of the stage but then quietly disappears into the set to give the spotlight to his ghoulish musicians. He then reappears in unexpected spots much to the delight of the crowd, who are always guessing where he’ll be next. Forge is hypnotic, yet exhilarating; producing a real ethereal feel. He’s a master at giving a captivating performance and thus it’s no surprise that Ghost has such a dedicated fanbase worldwide, including many contemporaries. FOO FIGHTERS’ Dave Grohl is rumored to have once performed in costume, unbeknownst to fans, in the group's backing band as a "Nameless Ghoul". Ghost has also been chosen to open for metal giants Iron Maiden, Slayer, Mastodon, Alice in Chains, and Metallica in the past.
Forge and his ghoulish musicians covered a satisfying selection of songs from their extensive catalog in NY that night. In between the tunes, the ghouls and ghoulettes would play hauntingly beautiful interludes as well as have dueling guitar solos that involved the crowd in selecting the winning guitar riff. It’s that kind of attention to detail (honing the performance of those smaller moments) that’s a testament to Forge’s creativity and design of a show that connects with fans while sustaining high energy all night. Even the colorful stage lighting, pyrotechnics, and confetti were used strategically to accentuate and enhance key moments of the show. The crowd was fun to watch as they seemed to be under the band’s spell all night long, but song favorites “Ritual,” “Dance Macabre,” “Rats,” “Faith,” and “Square Hammer” were most definitely highlights. Check out the amazing video below by Pete Kennedy to enjoy a small portion of what we experienced that night.
It’s obvious that the enormity of what Ghost just achieved with this first major U.S. headlining tour - “The Ultimate Tour Named Death” - has not been lost on them. Forge ended the evening with a heartfelt thank you to the crowd. He said that he and his bandmates were “living the dream” and they were extremely grateful to U.S. fans and our country for giving them this opportunity. Forge has also recently shared that Ghost’s journey is just beginning. Speaking with Revolver, he said that he’s close to realizing his ambition to create the first feature-length Ghost movie. If all goes well, the film will be shot before the end of the year. And Ghost will return to the studio in 2020 to begin work on a new album. Forge is leaning toward a harder, “riffier” sound this time. Always disciplined and on a timeline, he plans to start in January and finish by summer. Fans can only anxiously wait to see how the storyline of Ghost will continue.
Ashes/Rats/Absolution/Faith/Mary On A Cross/Devil Church/Cirice/Miasma/Ghuleh~Zombie Queen/Helvetesfonster/Spirit/From The Pinnacle To The Pit/Ritual/Satan Prayer/Year Zero/He Is/Mummy Dust/Kiss The Go-Goat/Dance Macabre/Square Hammer
Openers NOTHING MORE set the stage beautifully by giving a dynamic, riveting show earlier that evening. Jonny Hawkins, Daniel Oliver, Mark Vollelunga, and Ben Anderson (dressed in Ghostbuster attire) performed with such high intensity and purpose that you could tell how meaningful their music was to them. It was obvious the music has the same effect on their fans who were all wholeheartedly invested and consumed by the performance. Much to the crowd's approval, Jonny revealed that they were returning home to work on new music. Make sure to follow the band online to keep up with their latest news and progress!
Let 'em Burn/Don't Stop/GoToWar/Jenny/Fade In~Fade Out/Ocean Floor/This Is The Time (Ballast)/First Of The Year (Equinox)-Skrillex cover with snippet of Queen's "We Will Rock You"/Salem (Burn The Witch
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