The first time I had the chance to experience Ghost in an arena setting was when they opened up for Iron Maiden at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. I remember being thoroughly impressed with how they were able to take a massive arena and make it feel like one of their intimate theatre shows. Since then I’ve been anxiously awaiting for them to return with their own headlining arena tour, and finally got to cross that off the bucketlist when I saw them at Calgary’s Stampede Corral.
Cardinal Copia and his band didn’t disappoint, as they gave Calgary an unforgettable night. Between the costume changes, banter with the crowd, and onstage chemistry, fans were constantly engaged throughout the show. Something also to note about Ghost’s shows is the fact that it seems to have become a family affair. Looking around the crowd was very diverse, as you’d see children with their parents, teens, and adults of all ages. I think that says a lot about a band when their music is able to draw such diversity, especially in the metal community.
The only downside to this show was that the venue couldn’t accommodate the pyro and sparklers. Copia addressed this between songs saying that they usually have them go off, but they were told not to as they might burn down the venue, to which he says he replied to them “fuck you! … okay 🙁 ”. The jokes were non-stop with Copia as he even rolled out onto the stage on a squeaky tricycle after one of his costume changes referencing one of their latest promo videos, which got turned into a meme.
One thing I was pleasantly surprised to see was that the set list went through a major overhaul since their last North American tour, which ran through the end of 2018. Songs such as ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ and ‘Per Aspera ad Inferi’ were cut to make room for their new singles ‘Mary On A Cross’ and ‘Kiss A Go-Goat’, while songs like ‘Ghuleh/Zombie Queen’ managed to sneak it’s way back into the set. Most notably, ‘Monstrance Clock’, the song that has been used to end their set since it was introduced in 2013, was cut in favour of ‘Square Hammer’. Given the whole atmosphere of the arena, I’m actually really happy to see the change as it helped end the show on a high note.
Catch Cardinal Copia and his Nameless Ghouls on the Ultimate Tour Named Death when they hit Hamilton, ON October 17th at FirstOntario Centre, the full list of tour dates can be seen here. Also be sure to check out our friends over at Children of Ghost to stay on top of everything Ghost related!