They then kicked off the set with the haunting lead in track”Ashes” from their 2018 album Prequelle. The crowd raised their fists high and rhythmically pounded them towards the sky as that powerful baseline kicked in around the one minute mark.
The Cardinal nimbly glided around the stage like a ballroom dancer, working each side of the stage equally. His voice seemed strong and the audience joined with him to belt out every lyric he offered up.
The Nameless Ghouls, though anonymized by masks do sport individual emblems. The lead guitarist is Fire, the bassist is Water, the keyboardist is Air/Wind, the drummer is Earth, the rhythm guitarist is Ether, and two Multighouls, the male plays guitar and the female plays keyboards, they also both play tambourine and add backing vocals.
Even though they have unique roles, its hard to keep track of who’s who on stage, as they move about one another unless you stare directly at their instrument. Regardless, they are phenomenal and manage to perform cohesively and seamlessly with one another throughout the night.
There was a lot of great moments through the night but the top of the pile was when Papa Nihil came out on stage, a dishevelled old demon pope, and played the hell out of a saxophone. I mean the visual was funny but the calibre of the saxophone work was top notch too.
In fact, Tobias may be the band lead and vocalist but the instrumental work is the key to their solid tracks. They manage to build these ethereal dreamscapes full of creepy-cool, anthemic bass, and resonating riffs.
Ghost’s stage show has evolved through their career. They used to come out to the stage under the cover of fog, in a sort of ritualistic procession. Now they are a full-fledged arena band with beautifully ornate backdrops, orchestrated theatrics, and self-aware humour. They were wonderful the first time I saw them back in 2016 but they were even better this second time around.
I want to thank the band and their team for a terrific night out.
I hope to see Ghost in Vancouver again very soon.
Ghost setlist: Ashes Rats Absolution Faith Mary on a Cross Devil Church Cirice Miasma Ghuleh/Zombie Queen Helvetesfönster Spirit From the Pinnacle to the Pit Ritual Satan Prayer Year Zero Spöksonat He Is Mummy Dust Kiss the Go-Goat Dance Macabre