Ghost. What can one say about this band? The religious leaders of nearly any community where they perform lead protests against them, parents hate them, the elderly hate them, and probably even the family dog would be included in this category. Regardless, where ever Ghost travels, they have a very strong fan base. If they don’t sell out the venue, they bring near capacity crowds with every show. So again, how does a band that on the surface appears to endorse sacrilegious end of days anti-thesis Mephistopheles himself? The answer is simple. Ghost is not only a talented group of musicians, but very intelligent human beings as well utilizing satire and visual performances reminiscent of old style theatre. Touring on the “Black To The Future Tour” in support of their third full length album “Meliora”, (that had many first day sell outs at brick and mortar stores), Ghost continue their ingenious anonymity, stroking the fires of fans curiosity as to who are The Nameless Ghouls and Papa Emeritus III? Without blatant identities, this band demonstrates that they are serious entertainers as well as talented musicians by drawing in crowds who know every word to every song. Knowing the words to every song indicates to this observer that because of the “clean” vocals it makes the band more appealing to all age groups and a larger market leading to further fandom and commercial success.
On October 1, 2015 at the Toronto Sound Academy was No different. Having never witnessed Ghost’s séance of debauchery with Papa Emeritus III as acting medium, I was completely entranced by the heavy hooks and riffs. Even though I personally didn’t know all the words as the previously initiated, the music created a desire within in to know the words and be fully involved in this dark “sermon”.
Emeritus had the crowd completely within his spell as he raised his hand, the crowd followed suit. As Emeritus opened his fist and presented his open palm as if offering “Absolution”, the crowd followed suit. They were his to command. As a reward for their dedication, fans were treated by the “Clergy” to a substantial 19 song set including four new cuts from the latest release “Meliora” including “Spirit”, “From The Pinnacle to The Pit”, “Cirice”, and quite possible the albums real stand out track “Absolution”.
As mentioned previously in this article, the music is not the only appeal factor of this act. A very elaborate and deliberate stage presence of make up, costumes and gestures catches the imagination of concert attendees. Let’s face one important fact of concerts. As attendees we want to be entertained, not watch random people bang away senselessly on instruments in dirty torn shirts and jeans. Ghost seems to understand this.
At the end of the night, Ghost gives a visual ethereal experience of musicianship with intelligent satire further demonstration the bands brilliance behind their homage to classic horror films and fore-fathers of rock and roll. As long as this band keeps up the true entertainment factor of what the industry is supposed to be, do we really need to know the identity of The Nameless Ghouls? The answer is we already do……just look into the mirror.