It was a sea of black as far as the eye could see at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto for Ghost this past Wednesday. The crowd gathered in the foyer waiting for the theatre to officially open and you could sense the excitement in the air from the younger generation there being exposed to Ghost by their parents. This is one of the things I love about all ages shows is watching the young ones in the audience live a concert for the very first time.
Papa came out on stage with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect from him. High up on the risers looking over the audience as he sang “Square Hammer” off their new EP Popestar and the audience was mesmerized from the first note. That is one thing I have come to notice with Ghost fans, they aren’t just fans of a band, they live, eat and breathe Ghost and will praise and or defend them till the bitter end. They are dedicated to say the least.
I have now seen Ghost four or five times in various venues across Ontario and the States and I always wonder at every show how Papa and the Nameless Ghouls do this night after night in those, what I would expect to be, very hot costumes. From the crushed velvet cape, to the masks that definitely would not breath, and to be under the hot lights for so long will always amaze me. I have to give them props for that for sure, it wouldn’t be easy to try to perform in those conditions and for them to make it look easy is something not to overlook.
Putting the music aside for one moment Ghost is a band to watch all on its own, walking into the theatre you are immediately struck by an dark and ghoulish atmosphere, the fog machine rolling, blowing fog across the dimly lit stage and the smell of incense in the air sets the mood right for the evening. Then out of the speakers an eerie sound took over the venue as Miserere mei, Deus began to play, signalling that the ritual had officially begun. The only thing I found is that the intro is a bit to long for my taste and I noticed the fans getting a little impatient in their seats. Ghost of course played “Cirice” and “Monstrance Clock” and this was the first time I got to witness the “new” Water performing and I was pleasantly surprised.
Papa engaged the crowd numerous times throughout the evening even having personal one on one conversations with the few lucky people who managed to score front row seats to a sold out performance. Some of this banter about sex may have been a little risky due to the age variations in the crowd but as Papa said “they have heard it before” after he asked if this was an all ages show.
I feel the need to mention the opening act Marissa Nadler unfortunately I wasn’t overly impressed with the lack of lighting in the theatre for her performance. It was so dark in fact that I, seeing her whole performance from row 5, I have no clue what they look like. When I pay for a ticket to a concert I want to see what the performers look like. I am not sure if this was to set the mood but I would prefer to see the passion while they are performing not just hear the music, I can do that at home.
Once again thanks to the crew because without them there is no show!