I ain’t afraid of no Ghost. I was, however, totally blown away by their performance; my jaw was dropped more often than not throughout the evening. Aside from the fifteen-minute intermission, Ghost rocked the shit out of Place Bell on Friday night for three hours, making our “asses wobble” as frontman Tobias Forge embodying Cardinal Copia would say.
Ghost’s classic stage décor was as impressive as usual, turning the venue into a church-like atmosphere, instead, this church had demonic stain glass imagery, fireworks and flame-throwing pyrotechnics. From duelling devil guitar solos to simply listening to Cardinal Copia speak and crack jokes with his grandfather-like mannerisms and lovable, morbid persona, there was no shortage of entertainment.
The sound was loud, heavy and fat as hell. Songs like “Rats,” “Ritual” and “Mummy Dust” really pound the audience in the face, and with many of their faces painted like ghouls and skeleton ghosts, and their devil horn hands held up high, the crowd was fully engaged and loving the spectacle.
Cardinal Copia was a slithering powerhouse. Constantly walking off stage and returning with different outfits, he never failed to impress. Even after accidentally dropping his microphone, he glided over to it, swooping it up with one slick motion and never getting thrown off his game.
Ghost is so diverse that they provide a wide array of sounds and moods throughout the night. They have such a variety of music that their performance can never get redundant and let me tell you something, Jack, it did not get redundant. The spookier songs like “Con Clavi Con Dio” and “Satan Prayer” contrasted with the more uplifting and positive songs such as “Life Eternal” and “He Is,” which completely shift from their more pop rock and dance songs “Dance Macabre” and “Square Hammer.”
When we weren’t getting our faces melted off by Copia’s very talented team of Nameless Ghouls, and Papa Nihil busting out onto the stage with a shredding saxophone solo during “Miasma,” the mood got a little bit more subdued and intimate as Copia gathered three of his ghouls to perform an acoustic version of “Jigolo Har Megiddo.”
Aside from the musical performance having been incredible, Cardinal Copia is truly an excellent frontman with such an amazing ability to make the crowd laugh and feel good about themselves, even while performing songs that discuss witches, ghouls and Lucifer. It really is something super unique.
After giving a heartfelt speech about staying positive in life, even after we get hurt, and then busting our guts with the incredibly powerful performances of “Dance Macabre” and “Square Hammer,” Copia once again engaged the audience with a loving speech about how much he enjoys coming to Montreal, and encouraged all of us, when we got home Friday night, to give ourselves orgasms.
Closing the night with “Monstrance Clock,” the chorus which sings “come together, together as one” resonated throughout the venue as the band walked off stage, and a feeling of elation came over me as I walked out of the arena – it was truly a phenomenal and inspiring performance.
Written by Keenan Kerr
Photography by Danny Donovan
*edited by Mike Milito