There’s Something Spooky in the Seattle Air
The sky was dark and stormy, the winds were roaring and Seattle was braced for what many were calling the worst windstorm in half a decade. Some might blame atmospheric pressure, but it was actually the Puget Sound preparing for the one and only Ghost.
A Haunting Whisper
At first glance Marissa Nadler seemed like an odd choice to open the Popestar Tour. Her music isn’t loud or energetic, but rather moody and atmospheric. If you take a listen to her music for longer than ten minutes, it starts to make sense. Ghost has always given me the same feeling as watching a horror movie from the 1960s or 70s. There’s something comforting about them, yet with a subtle sense of unease. Picking Marissa Nadler to open the show very well could have been to have her serve as the opening credits. The haunting unease before the bombast of the main feature. By this metric, her set was a huge success, her beautiful voice sending shivers through the Moore.
The Dark Sermon
The credits finished rolling and a sense of anticipation crept over the crowd as the stage filled with a thick layer of fog and the lights dimmed. Then the Nameless Ghouls crept out from the shadows, to the drums and organ-based introduction of their new single ‘Square Hammer’. They ran around the stage bringing the audience to a frenzy, and then from the back, the leader of the this black mass ascended the staircase. His voice and presence boomed through the theatre, hypnotizing the audience into dancing and singing along with the dark hymn.
Over the next hour and a half Ghost took their fans on a journey down the left hand path. The whole evening felt like an extended version of their ‘Circe’ video due to reserved seating layout of The Moore. The one difference being that this time the entire crowd enjoyed every second of the show. This roving band of demons have crafted a cult of followers who are dedicated and, judging by the packed venue, only growing larger.
When Papa asked those in attendance who had seen the band before, the newcomers were much louder. The title of the new EP and this tour, Popestar, is both a brilliant pun and an apt description. Ghost’s popularity only gets bigger with each album and tour, much to the chagrin of the more conservative religious sects of the world.
Not everything is dire and serious with Ghost. In fact, there’s a perfect balance between the dark imagery, heavy music and some levity from Papa Emeritus. Whether it be stalking behind one of The Nameless Ghouls or addressing the fact that there were quite a few kids being exposed to his use of the word fuck. That’s what separates Ghost from other bands of the satanic variety. They aren’t out to bludgeon the audience with the intensity of evil. Rather, they are inviting and accessible, relying more on old doom metal than death and black metal to get their message out.