“At 10:02, the lights shift, smoke rises and the two shrouds covering the drums and the keyboards are ceremoniously lifted. The pre-recorded church choir takes over speakers, invoking spirits in Latin or backwards English. At 10:10 the stage is bathed in red, then pitch black. After a breath of silence, the Star Trek-y intro for “Spirit” begins to play and an explosion of thrill blows the roof off the House as the Nameless Ghouls take their places. When Papa Emeritus III graces the stage in open arms and flowing robes, the screams of love become so saturating, the band could not be heard at all until after the first chorus.”
Sometimes, I love it when I’m wrong.
When I first heard of these Ghost people, I laughed them off as a ridiculous act behind “patchwork prog” with Michael Stipe-ish vocals. In fact, the actual words I used in my Meliora audio review (Aug. 30, 2015) were: “…pretty much just a joke without a punch-line, a hipster salad, and a novelty…Except they’re not.” I felt almost embarrassed that I found myself practically obsessed with this album and referred to Ghost henceforth as “that damn band.”
But, when I had the chance to see this “damn band” on stage, I had to swallow my words like rancid medicine. The “Back to the Future” Tour was one of the most elegant, energetic, and dynamic concerts I had ever witnessed. Those parasitic songs just animated like fire when performed live. I didn’t feel Satan’s presence anywhere, but I was blown away by the expert sense of theater this troupe has. Far from ridiculous, I was converted.
I even kept my communion wafer to remind me never to judge a Metal band by its masks again.