Ghost live in Florida 2018

On November 25th Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater Florida was transformed into a cathedral. Known more as venue for Broadway productions, classical concerts, dance, and opera, Ruth Eckard Hall’s near perfect acoustics will be putting to the test with a whole different type of show as Swedish Grammy Award-winning hard rock band Ghost takes the stage. With the announcement of their “A Pale Tour Named Death” tour, Ghost chose not to go to more conventional venues, but opted for ones that would be more appropriate for their grand stage show.
Ghost North American Tour 2018 poster
For those that don’t know Ghost, the band was formed by Tobias Forge back in 2006 in Linkoping Sweden. As the music they were creating was unlike anything that they had created before, the band decided to take on a more theatrical approach and the Forge adopted the persona of “Papa Emeritus” and dressed in Papal garb, while the rest of band donned black outfits and masks and would be known as Nameless Ghouls. Their major label debut “Infestissuman” was released in 2013 and hit number one on the Swedish charts and won a Swedish Grammy for best Hard Rock Album. Then in 2015 they released their third effort “Meliora”, which hit eight on the US charts. The lead single “Cirice” won them a Grammy Award for best Metal Performance. Their current tour is in support of their latest release “Prequelle”.
As fans streamed into the venue wearing Ghost shirts or other assorted band t-shirts, you knew this was going to a different kind of evening. What made it more interesting is there would be no opening act. The night would belong to Ghost. With an epic twenty six song set and a planned fifteen minute intermission, there wouldn’t be time for an opener. When the lights dimmed the energy of the crowd became palpable. As the opening notes of “Ashes” played the curtains parted revealing an elaborate stage setup to look like a cathedral. As the Nameless Ghouls took to the stage, they continued playing the song. As they finished playing the song Cardinal Copia, who replaced Papa Emeritus (both are Forge) as leader of Ghost took to the stage to the cheers of the crowd. The band launched into “Rats” the first single from their latest release “Prequelle”. The crowd was singing along note for note. They followed that up with “Absolution” and “Idolatrine”. At one point during the show the two guitarist ghouls (white guitar and black guitar) engaged in a highly entertaining guitar duel. With both going back and forth with increasingly difficult guitar riffs, Black guitar seemingly blew the classic introduction to “Stairway to Heaven” then waved his hand in disgust and walked off stage giving the victory to white guitar. At that point the launched into the Grammy award winning song “Cirice”. After this they played “Miasma” during this number Papa Nihil came out in full Papal gear and delivered an awesome saxophone solo! Now it was time to slow things down a bit as three Ghouls sat on the stairs of the set with acoustic guitars and they played an acoustic version of “Jigolo Har Megiddo”. They wrapped up the first act with “Pro Memoria”, “Witch Eternal”, and “Life eternal”, all from their latest album “Prequelle”.
After a fifteen minute break to allow everyone a breather from what would have been for most a great concert, it was time for the Cardinal and the Ghouls to resume the show. The first number after the intermission was “Spirit” off their third LP “Meloria”. Then the bassist Ghoul launched into the instantly recognizable riff for “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” and the crowd went absolutely nuts. During this act Cardinal Copia was at his best entertaining the crowd with his banter. He went on to ask the crowd “Do you want your asses wobbled?”, which of course the crowd cheered. So, he asked “Do you want your taints tickled”, everyone was laughing and cheering at that! Then they played “Mummy Dust”. Next, they covered a Rory Erickson song “If You Have Ghosts”. During this song The cardinal had funny introductions for each the Ghouls. The more memorable ones were when he introduced the Ghoulette keyboard players, pointing out the chain around the keyboards he said, “that is for your protection, if they get out, they will attack you”! When it came time to introduce the drummer, he said in you drew a straight line down the middle of the stage you would see this hole, then he bent over looking at the drummer’s butt and asked the crowd if they saw the hole. At that point he said “Are you staring at my butthole? How rude”! He went on to say he was talking about the hole in the bass drum of the drum kit. The crowd was laughing the whole time. The last songs of the act were “Dance Macabre” and another of their huge hits and a crowd favorite “Square Hammer”.
When they finished the band came out and bowed to the cheering fans then left the stage. Everyone was cheering for an encore, then Cardinal Copia came out and told everyone “He had contacted the city about having sex with everyone after the show and came to the conclusion it was a bad idea because it would get awkward and not enough time, it would get way too messy, and most of all it was illegal”! With the crowd laughing at all of that he said they would do a fake closing and come out to perform another song. The band came back, and they treated the crowd to “Monstrance Clock” from “Infestissumam”.
What an entertaining show! The Ghouls and Cardinal Copia did an amazing job of playing a huge set of music over a two and a half hour time span. With an incredible set recreating a cathedral, and a stunning light show, the music Ghost played tied everything together to make it an epic night. If you don’t know their music, this tour is a perfect way to catch this band at their absolute best. This memorable show is a must see. Even if “A Pale Tour Named Death” tour isn’t coming near you, get in your car and drive to the closest stop, you will love every second of it.