As predicted in my ‘Best of 2015 Staff Picks’, Swedish Heavy Metal band, Ghost, has been taking 2016 by storm. With their very first GRAMMY win officially under their belt, they are about to embark on the second North American leg of their Black To The Future Tour (we covered the first leg when it hit Toronto, and Andreas even had the opportunity to speak to one of the Nameless Ghouls!).
Here are 5 reasons why we think you should catch Ghost on their upcoming tour:
1. Ghost’s ability to reach out and pleasantly surprise more than just your average metal fan.
One thing that I think is very unique about Ghost is that their music is able to reach people who wouldn’t normally be caught listening to Metal. The crowd at their shows has always been pretty diverse; I’ve seen everything from small children with their parents, your typical metal heads, and even businessmen who look like they rushed out of work to make it to the show on time. I’ve noticed the diversity in their fan base even more after their GRAMMY win, as multiple friends who generally rather be listening to Pop, Rap, or Punk, had asked me to recommend them a couple songs from “that band you really like that just won a GRAMMY”. To my surprise, every one of those friends came back to tell me that they were not expecting to enjoy Ghost the way that they did, and were very pleasantly surprised! I feel this speaks wonders for an artist when they can gather a group of people who would not normally be hanging out together.
2. Their Rituals are a unique experience in themselves.
Ghost Rituals are the complete package. You get to listen to some great live music while being treated to a stunning visual performance. Ghost has a way of transforming the venue into their little Satanic Church; from their backdrop that mimics stained glass windows and burning incense on stage, to having their Sisters of Sin (two fans picked per date) distribute communion wafers to the front row. It really does feel like you’ve attended some sort of mass. The crazy part of all this, is that they have mentioned in interviews that this is only a fraction of what they imagine Ghost rituals being like. They still have a lot up their sleeve that they have yet to introduce!
3. Papa Emeritus III.
With every album Ghost changes their lead singer. They are currently on their 3rd Papa Emeritus, and he is a lot more animated than his predecessors. Papa I was basically a decrepit old man on stage, while Papa II had slightly more of a personality. It’s refreshing to see how drastically different Papa III is, he’s very interactive with the band on stage, and a bit more up close and personal with the fans during their performance. Papa III is also much more energetic, enjoys dancing around on stage, and being silly. You better catch him while you can, because his time is running out and no one knows what Papa IV’s personality will be like.
Even though this album has left some fans on the fence about it, I personally feel that this is Ghost’s strongest release to date. It literally took the best parts of their debut album Opus Eponymous, and put them with the best parts of their sophomore album Infestissumam. The album overall was very catchy, yet it still had the creepy Ghost vibe and tongue-in-cheek lyrics that all the fans loved. The album as a whole made you feel as if you were being teleported into an old horror movie. Songs like Mummy Dust and Absolution sound fantastic live and definitely play into the band’s dark imagery & makes the atmosphere at their shows that much more powerful.
Papa III and his Nameless Ghouls really have a way of captivating the crowd, which is kind of weird when you think about it, since you cannot see any of their actual faces. All of the Ghouls are masked and look identical. You cannot see any of their facial expressions, yet through their strong stage presence each of them have a way of letting some kind of personality shine through. For instance, one of the guitarists (who was deemed Omega by the fans) is very vibrant on stage. He’s always bouncing and stomping around, while the other guitarist (Alpha), and bassists (Water), are pretty energetic as well but can be cunningly cheeky at times. Papa on the other hand, always has this intense gaze that captivates the audience and lets them know he’s in charge. The band has a great dynamic and I feel like the anonymity of the members make the interaction between them on stage very entertaining to watch. Also, the fact that we have no idea who is actually behind the masks kinda just lets your imagination run free. It’s definitely a unique experience.
Black To The Future 2016 Tour Dates:
04/13 Montclair, NJ – The Wellmont Theater
04/14 Stroudsburg, PA – The Sherman Theater
04/15 Long Island, NY – The Paramount
04/16 Waterbury, CT – College Street Music Hall
04/17 Buffalo, NY – Rapids Theatre
04/19 Bloomington, IL – The Castle Theatre
04/20 Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
04/22 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
04/23 Tucson, AZ – The Rialto Theatre
04/25 Austin, TX – Emo’s
04/26 Houston, TX – House of Blues
04/27 Baton Rouge, LA – The Varsity Theatre
04/29 Tampa, FL – WXTB Rockfest
04/30 Ft. Myers, FL – Fort Rock
05/01 Jacksonville, FL – Welcome To Rockville
05/02 Birmingham, AL – Iron City
05/03 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
05/04 Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theater
05/07 Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion
05/08 Baltimore, MD – The Hippodrome
05/09 Richmond, VA – The National
05/11 Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
05/12 Chattanooga, TN – Track 29
05/13 Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
05/17 Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
05/19 Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room
05/20 Grand Rapids, MI – The Orbit Room
05/22 Albany, NY – Rock’N Derby
** Ghost will also be performing at Heavy Montreal this year, which takes place on August 6th & 7th at PARC JEAN-DRAPEAU **
Some cool Ghost videos to check out!
From The Pinnacle To The Pit Music Video: