Come Together As One: Ghost Live in Lawrence, KS 10/05/15
For about the past five years, no recent heavy metal band has had more crossover mainstream appeal and more dissent among fans than Sweden’s occult outfit Ghost. Formed in 2008, Ghost has experienced a massive boost in popularity partly due to the now-dead phase of occult rock/metal the genre went through (which they partly kickstarted) and the other, more obvious reason of the mystery surrounding their shtick – who are the members of Ghost? The enigmatic vocalist Papa Emeritus III (who looks and sounds almost identical to Papa Emeritus I and II…) backed by masked musicians, each only referred to as “A Nameless Ghoul.” But one thing about Ghost may just be the most obvious reason for their enormous success – they make some pretty great music.
The block surrounding Liberty Hall in Lawrence was almost completely engulfed by a huge line of people waiting for the doors to open Monday night, the first of many tells about Ghost’s jump in popularity recently. The group whipped the crowd into a frenzy of jumping, singing and screaming for almost two hours. The 19-song setlist contained a good chunk of their latest album Meliora, which included set openers “Cirice” and “From The Pinnacle To The Pit” as well as “Mummy Dust” – maybe the heaviest song of the night. Ghost also revisited their previous album Infestissumam and debut Opus Eponymous – with “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” and “Stand By Him,” respectively, being two of the greatest tunes of the show. The main set concluded with a fantastic rendition of Roky Erickson’s “If You Have Ghosts” (which may as well be known henceforth as an original Ghost song) and an audience-participating encore of “Monstrance Clock” in which the group exited the stage in darkness to an audience chanting “Come Together/Together as one/Come together/For Lucifer’s son” which is a feat in of itself.
The band themselves sounded pretty much perfect for the whole performance. Whatever mixing issues there may have been were taken care of by the second song of the show. In particular, the bass came through as heavy and commanding when needed – not just as a background element – and the keyboard and synthesizers held their ground against the dual guitar attack and played just as an important role. If there is a complaint, it’s an extremely trivial one that Papa Emeritus’ vocals could’ve been just a little bit louder earlier on in the show. Other than that, you won’t find a much better rock show anywhere on Earth right now than with Ghost.
2. From The Pinnacle To The Pit
4. Con Clavi Con Dio
5. Per Aspera Ad Inferi
7. Prime Mover
8. Stand By Him
9. Body And Blood
10. Devil Church
12. Year Zero
13. He Is
15. Mummy Dust
16. Jigolo Har Megiddo (acoustic)
17. Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
18. If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover)
19. Monstrance Clock