Ghost are one of the most talked about bands in rock, and it’s easy to understand why.
Ghost are an enigma, with the identity of the band remaining a mystery. The band’s frontman, Papa Emeritus III, is joined by a quintet of masked musicians known as Nameless Ghouls. It has been rumored that even Dave Grohl has performed with the band at one point.
Ghost’s critically acclaimed latest offering Meliora was arguably one of the best albums of 2015. As a result, the Newcastle congregation in attendance at the O2 Academy eagerly anticipate their sermon from the Swedish clergy led by Papa Emeritus III.
The stage resembling a church is plunged into darkness, the smell of burning incense fills the air, a backdrop displaying stained glass windows and the sounds of Gregorian chanting play over the PA as the band’s intro tape “Masked Ball” by Jocelyn Pook rolls.
Opening their set with “Spirit” and “From The Pinnacle To The Pit.” The band’s set tonight features the lion’s share of Meliora including standout tracks ‘He Is’ and ‘Mummy Dust’. Despite his rather sinister, yet serious outer appearance Papa Emeritus III dressed in his trademark bishops robes has a great sense of humor and keeps the audience entertained throughout with his witty on-stage banter.
Ghost manage to successfully infuse powerful guitar riffs with stunning melodies and make it work. The opening riff to ‘Absolution’ has an early Metallica quality to it before it breaks into an almost euphoric chorus line. The band digs deep into their back catalog with the likes of “Ritual,” “Ghuleh / Zombie Queen,” and “Con Clavi Con Dio” also featured. Ghost bring their main set to a close with a cover of Roky Erickson’s “You Have Ghosts,” leaving the stage to rapturous applause.
The band always end their set with the same track “Monstrance Clock,” Papa Emeritus III proclaiming that this is because it is their best song and so they save it for last, and it was worth the wait.
Ghost’s theatrical live performance encapsulates the essence of the rock show that we have seen in years gone by from the likes of Alice Cooper. They are both visual and exciting, and they most certainly rock.
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