Singer Tobias Forge of Swedish rock band Ghost performing at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC on September 20th 2019

Live Review: “Ultimate Tour Named Death” ft. Ghost @ Pacific Coliseum – September 20th 2019

Swedish rock band Ghost performing during their “Ultimate Tour Named Death” at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC on September 20th, 2019.

This was my second live ritual with the Linköping-hailing masked musicians. To sum it up quite simply, just wow!

The gathering of Nameless Ghouls started off with some powerful instrumentals as their leader Cardinal Copia, a.k.a. Tobias Forge, strode out to the stage.

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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.

Guitarists Nameless Ghoul Fire and Nameless Ghoul Ether of Ghost performing at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC on September 20th, 2019

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:
Mary on a Cross
Devil Church
Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Satan Prayer
Year Zero
He Is
Mummy Dust
Kiss the Go-Goat
Dance Macabre

Square Hammer

Photos © Jamie Taylor // Cryptic Photography

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