GIG REVIEW: GHOST & CARPENTER BRUT Live at The Fillmore, Detroit, MI
On October 3rd 2016, The Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan was the site of a service — And not just any ordinary service. And certainly not some boring mundane righteous-spewing Sunday church service either. Rather than you believe in Jesus, Satan or neither, the band Ghost gave you reason to believe in rock n’ roll.
Kicking off the show was a three-piece band by the name of Carpenter Brut. I had never heard of them and haven’t found much online about them either. Their show was like watching some musicians record theme music for movies. And that was pretty much how it went, as recorded music would play while they played their instruments and movie trailers beamed on a screen behind them. It was not an ideal photography session as they tended to play most of the time in dark lighting. The movie trailers were interesting as the subject matter covered apocalyptic and horror themes with lots of naked women. Nevertheless, Carpenter Brut warmed up the crowd nicely for the headlining act.
The anticipation was brewing as fans waited patiently for Ghost to hit the stage, while harmonic organ music created the ambiance. I wasn’t sure what to expect as this was my first time seeing them live. All I knew was this band is mysterious and that they seemed photogenic. I was excited to have the opportunity to shoot them. The lights dimmed, the crowd roared, the music began, and in entered Papa Emeritus III, the frontman of Ghost. Clad in a robe and papal tiara with his face done up to depict a skull, Papa immediately had the command and attention of the fans. Gracing the stage with an easy yet energetic presence, it was easy to see why fans flocked to see Ghost in concert.
Musically, the band was tight and ripe full of riffs and excellent music styles, ranging from heavy metal and hard rock to pop rock. All we know about the identity of the five musicians is pretty much nothing, except they go by the name of Nameless Ghouls, and that they rocked and moved about the stage as if floating. Vocally, Papa had a unique style all his own, belting out the songs with ease and enchanting the crowd to their delight. With a sixteen-song set, the fans had plenty to cheer for. The songs dictated how the audience behaved, as the up-tempo songs had the fans up front on the floor moshing, but everyone was either pumping their fist, bobbing their head, or just staring transfixed at the band as Ghost rocked their face off.
Regardless of you being in the front row on the floor or way up in the back of the balcony, you felt the presence of Ghost and couldn’t stop paying attention. As confetti rained down towards the end of the show, the crowd rejoiced in witnessing the presence of Ghost. I was impressed and became a fan. It’s no mystery why this band has gained notoriety and fame, and part of that is due to the mystery of the band. Should you ever have a chance to be in the presence of Ghost, then by all means do yourself a favor and experience them live.
Ever since I was a kid, I always hated church. Had Ghost been around back then, my toleration for it would’ve been better. I may not believe in Jesus or Satan, but I do know there are good people and bad people. And despite the image they portray, Ghost are good people delivering great music, and I now consider myself a disciple of them. Rock on!