GIG REVIEW: GHOST ‘Black To The Future’ Tour Live At Herford, DE
Saturday evening – perfect time for worshiping the devil, right? Only a few days after winning a Grammy in Los Angeles, heavy metal icons GHOST were already back on duty, to celebrate an unholy mass in Germany with the children of Herford. And much like their unique mix of 80s rock and crunchy modern guitar riffs, the audience showed a big diversity of young and old, who all came together to watch Papa Emeritus III rule his army of little Ghouls.
While most fans were still sipping on their first beer, Sweden’s DEAD SOUL entered the stage, but instead of rocking the packed venue, the trio concentrated on haunting atmospheres and beautiful melodies with an electronic doom charm. Two guitars and vocals are definitely not the classical band line-up, but DEAD SOUL are anything but normal and therefor they seemed to split the audience in half, with some people dancing in trance and others looking clearly bored. But with only seven songs, their set was a nice little snack and those who never heard of the charismatic Swedes, who released their last album through Century Media, should give ‘The Fool’ a try – a song that easily blows away most modern rock bands and convinces with a breathtaking refrain, that you won’t get out of your head.
But then it was time to light the incest. Already during sound-check, the stage was filled with fog, creepy red light and disturbing church music, that indicated the mass was just about to begin and drag the approx. 1000 visitors right into the deepest circles of hell. But hey, who wouldn’t enjoy a nice little evening among the deepest ruins of the Inferno, as long as Papa Emeritus is the tour guide? At 8:30, GHOST entered their altar with „Spirit“ and within seconds, the euphoric audience succumbed to Papa’s charm. Perfect light, perfect sound, nothing could stop the satirically satanic sextet with the elegant Nameless Ghouls, dressed up as dark silver statues from the Twenties, and of course, their glorious pope. With his fake Italian accent, his weird obsession that everyone should grab each other and the funny little speeches between the songs („Prepare for the most evil motherfucker, who ever fucked mothers!“), Papa Emeritus III never left a doubt, that he is the perfect successor of his older brother Papa II and one of the most charismatic band leaders of our time – and most girls surely envied the two nuns the band picked to serve wafers and wine to the audience.
Of course, both their cult song „Year Zero“ and the spine-chilling „He Is“ caused Herford to sing their hearts out, before GHOST showed their elegant acoustic side in the encore with the Roky Erickson cover „If you have Ghosts“ and Papa taking lots of time to introduce every band member and tell the amusing stories behind the names Alpha and Omega. With only two bands on the tour line-up, fans expected to be home early on this Saturday night, but it took GHOST almost two hours until they reached their second encore and ended their satanic mass with „Monstrance Clock“ that definitely kept the crowd engaged.
For their „religious followers“, it didn’t come as big surprise, that the young Swedes were able to hold a Grammy in their hands, after the release of their commercial success of ‘Meliora’. But even for everyone else, one thing should be clear now: No matter if you like GHOST‘s music, to say that their live shows aren’t some of the best we get anno 2016, would be pure heresy.