There are many reasons people come to see Ghost rituals. The sheer theatrics alone make for an entertaining evening, from the intricate Grucifix embroidered robes of Papa Emeritus III to the tailored black suits and spats the Nameless Ghouls and tech crew wear. Add to that their unrelenting heavy riffs and a charismatic leader with no shortage of quips and you have a potent concoction for wooing the masses.
Ghost celebrated their 100th show on the Black to the Future tour on this unsuspecting Thursday night at the Sherman Theater. In a darkly lit room, with smoke and incense lingering in the air, “The Masked Ball” by Jocelyn Pook began to play. You could feel the entire crowd become restless. These mysterious shrouded demons emerge from shadows, and a single spotlight illuminates A Nameless Ghoul known to fans as Alpha (Fire). He plays the opening chords to “Spirit,” the title track of their current release, Meliora. Papa slowly emerges from the smoke at center stage, arms held wide revealing all the intricacy of his robes and sending the crowd into a total frenzy.
They continued through four of their heavier songs including “Pinnacle to the Pit,” ending with my personal favorite, “Con Clavi Con Dio.” Papa slowly strolled to the mic swinging a thurible of incense, filling the stage with smoke as he chanted the lyrics. The Ghouls in a demonic flurry, pounded the notes out to this unwavering song.
Papa later addresses the crowd, saying they need to slow things down, before introducing the Sisters of Sin and casting them into the pit to feed the “Body and Blood” to the devout. There is a short interlude as Papa disappears to slip into something more comfortable and the Nameless Ghouls take over with “Devil Church” and then lead into “Cirice.”
Papa saunters back on stage in his new outfit, a black and white suit inspired by Swedish King Gustav III who was responsible for overthrowing the Swedish government. Every female in the front row begins to lean forward, knowing on most nights, one lucky lady will have a moment with Papa as he kneels down to sing to them. He does not disappoint and descends into the pit to find her.
Ghost continue to power through such tracks as “Absolution” and as Papa states, their heaviest track, “Mummy Dust” before they begin to wind the show down. Papa stops to give the crowd a lesson in the birds and bees and their reasoning behind always ending with “Monstrance Clock.” So it is in celebration of the female orgasm that they say goodbye to the crowd and leave with the final lyrics playing on a darkened stage.
Ghost will continue their tour across America until May before heading back to Europe to participate in a multitude of summer festivals. Additional tour dates are below for the U.S.
Check out our photos below!
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Black to the Future Tour
APR 22 EL PASO, TX @ TRICKY FALLS
APR 23 TUCSON, AZ @ THE RIALTO THEATRE
APR 25 AUSTIN, TX @ EMOS
APR 26 HOUSTON, TX @ HOUSE OF BLUES
APR 27 BATON ROUGE, LA @ THE VARSITY THEATRE
APR 29 TAMPA, FL @ 98ROCKFEST
APR 30 FORT MYERS, FL @ MONSTER ENERGY FORT ROCK
MAY 01 JACKSONVILLE, FL @ MONSTER ENERGY WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE
MAY 02 BIRMINGHAM, AL @ IRON CITY
MAY 03 NASHVILLE, TN @ MARATHON MUSIC WORKS
MAY 04 KNOXVILLE, TN @ TENNESSEE THEATER
MAY 06 VIRGINIA BEACH, VA @ FARM BUREAU LIVE
MAY 07 CHARLOTTE, NC @ CAROLINA REBELLION
MAY 08 BALTIMORE, MD @ THE HIPPODROME
MAY 09 RICHMOND, VA @ THE NATIONAL
MAY 11 LOUISVILLE, KY @ MERCURY BALLROOM
MAY 12 CHATTANOOGA, TN @ TRACK 29
MAY 13 ATLANTA, GA @ CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK & INTERNATIONAL PLAZA
MAY 14 KANSAS CITY, MO @ 98.9 THE ROCK’S ROCKFEST (W/ SEVENDUST)
MAY 15 SOMERSET, WI @ NORTHERN INVASION
MAY 17 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK @ DIAMOND BALLROOM
MAY 19 INDIANAPOLIS, IN @ EGYPTIAN ROOM
MAY 20 EAST GRAND RAPIDS, MI @ THE ORBIT ROOM
MAY 21 COLUMBUS, OH @ ROCK ON THE RANGE
MAY 22 ALBANY, NY @ ROCK’N DERBY