Ghost’s star has been rising high and fast recently, punctuated by a huge win at the 58th Grammy Awards.
The Swedish heavy metal titans took home the Best Metal Performance gong for Cirice from third album Meliora, out now on Spinefarm Records/Loma Vista.
What better way, then, to top off a hugely successful European tour and a Grammy win, than with a sold out show at the infamous London Palladium?
Tonight was always going to be all about the headliners
Opening duo Poltergeist’s expansive soundscapes do enough to whet the appetite of the crowd, but tonight was always going to be all about the headliners. The air is thick with smoke and anticipation as the Nameless Ghouls take to a stage bathed in red light, hammering out the opening riff of Spirit. Soon after, the crowd proceeds to lose their collective mind when Papa Emeritus III appears in full regalia. From the Pinnacle to the Pit sounds righteously groove-laden and they aren’t afraid to delve into their back-catalogue either, with incredible renditions of Stand By Him and Per Aspera ad Inferi.
The stage show Ghost put on is quite simply unparalleled. A stained glass backdrop frames Papa and the Nameless Ghouls as all manner of different lights cascade down on them and the crowd. The opulent décor inside the London Palladium further adds to the atmosphere, with Papa seamlessly gliding around the stage, seeming to control the Ghouls’ movements with the flick of a wrist.
The Sisters of Sin (two fans decked out in nun habits) appear during Body and Blood to give out ‘unholy communion’ and after a brief disappearance, Papa III returns to the stage in an extremely smart suit with slicked back hair. Free from the confines of his ‘Pope’ cloths he takes on a new lease of life, serenading an audience member at the edge of the stage during the Grammy winning Cirice.
Their playing is almost divine in its power
This isn’t to take away all the limelight from the Nameless Ghouls however. Note perfect and seamlessly tight throughout, their playing on the likes of the epic Year Zero and darkly glorious He Is is almost divine in its power. Absolution sees Papa III getting each side of the Palladium to trade off cheers and Mummy Dust sounds devilishly heavy, complete with a keytar solo.
A drawn out, acoustic version of If You Have Ghosts (Originally by Roky Erickson) gives us time to reflect, before a giant singalong ensues for Ghuleh/Zombie Queen and set closer Ritual.
A band pushing the boundaries of how heavy music is portrayed live
An encore of Monstrance Clock has Papa III whipping the crowd into an absolute frenzy for six minutes and with that, they are gone. A magnificent show from a band pushing the boundaries of how heavy music is portrayed live. Part rock concert, part macabre gothic theatre, Ghost really are a sight to behold.
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