GHOST @HOB 10/31/15
Ghost at the House of Blues, Las Vegas 10/31/15 Halloween
A fan’s Perspective:
By: By Luthien Lexenstar
It’s 10:30 AM on Halloween and I am sitting, with beer in hand on the floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino outside of The House of Blues. The show doesn’t start for another 10 hours. What would make me wait in line that long for a concert you ask? One word … GHOST.
I just picked up a friend from the airport who flew in from Los Angeles to see the show. I met her through a fantastic Facebook group known as Ghost American Ministries, a group of Ghost fans with one thing in common, their love of all things Ghost. Throughout the day more friends from GAM will join the line, some flying in from places as far away as Texas with one mission only, to spend the night at another Ghost ritual.
Ghost are a Swedish metal band from Linköping, Sweden, whose music combines 70s and 80s classic rock with a modern satanic twist. (ALL tongue firmly in cheek) Their tunes are catchy enough to sing along to but with crunchy riffs to satisfy even today’s metal purist. I like to think of them as a thinking man’s black metal band. Unlike most of today’s black metal aggressiveness, Ghost spread their message with thoughtful and provoking lyrics and uplifting tunes with nice melodies.
The evening opened with the lovely Rosalie Cunningham and Purson from England playing their psychedelic brand of hard rock. Their songs reminded me of Black Sabbath, the Doors and some earlier Soundgarden. The music was hypnotic, and as many a male friend pointed out to me, Rosalie was very easy on the eyes. It was a great way to start the night.
After the haunting opening music of “The Masked Ball” by Jocelyn Pook, Ghost took the stage in all their satanic glory opening with “Spirit”. Their set resembled an evil church complete with stained glass windows and incense, Papa Emeritus III, adorned in his papal robes and all the Nameless Ghouls decked out in tailored suits with spats.
During “Pinnacle to the Pit” Papa mesmerizes the audience who sing along to every single word of the song. The Nameless Ghouls are just as captivating as they parade and strut about the stage with one guitar player striking his foot repeatedly on the stage, known affectionately to fans as the Omega stomp.
After the favorite from Opus Eponymous “Ritual” finishes Ghost launch into Con Clavi Con Dio and Per Aspera ad Inferi complete with swinging thurible burning sweet incense.
Other highlights of the evening include Papa serenading a young lady from the audience during the song Cirice. As he sings to her, “Cant’ you see that you’re lost without me” that young girl standing next to me bursts into tears and sobs. This is not the only emotion that Ghost have managed to invoke that night. The song “He Is” brought a tear to me eye in all its beauty, even if it is about the dark side of life and faith.
Later in the set, Ghost perform one of their heavier songs “Mummy Dust”. During this song we are treated to a “keytar” solo which I have not seen since the likes of Gregg Guiffria from Angel in the late 70’s. The night concludes with the upbeat “If You Have Ghosts”, a cover by Roky Erickson and Monstrance Clock from “Infestissumam”.