But who’s Papa? What’s Ghost? What is this talk about rituals?
Ghost first emerged from the ice cold or hot dimension that we mortals recognize as Sweden around the year 2006 (or maybe even years, decades, and centuries before that) and has been haunting us all over the world since. And while doing so, they have won awards left and right, including one of the most prestigious awards in music today - the Grammy (for best metal performance). The best hard rock, heavy metal albums, songs, and performances. Some of their songs are even claimed to be real evil! Ghost managed to sneak into my playlists around 2019 with Mary On A Cross, and stole my heart with all those beautiful harmonies. The rest is history! Papa Emeritus and the Nameless Ghouls (no one knows who they are, some of the ghouls have been legendary musicians from world-famous bands) create unforgettable magic worth every bit of seeing, hearing, and feeling! There was no way in hell I would have missed this opportunity to experience them play live!*
Before we jump into our captured glimpses of the Ghost sighting, warning! Most of the images and videos were captured with phone cameras therefore the quality is also not my usual standard. I had to leave my trusted DSLR camera at the door, unfortunately. Despite me trying to contact Oslo Spektrum beforehand - Den er for stor!
Ghost was not traveling alone of course. They had friends with them - Twin Temple (US) and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats (UK)!
Twin Temple was opening the show and performing a satanic ritual for the audience. They were throwing unholy water at us, inviting us to orgies, drinking and spewing blood, and passionately making out on the stage as captured in this video. They were giving an introduction to everyone about what satanism is all about as well.
It was fun to observe their mischievous and naughty way of performing. Their music certainly was on a different scope. Meaning, that it was more rock ‘n’ roll and blues. The vocalist even reminded me of Amy Winehouse for some reason. Maybe it was the hair? xD Either way, this bunch of vampires made the corpse slightly warmer with their charisma and long, long-held notes. Oh, and the saxophone player was cool too!
But then came the Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats to ruin our night (their words) and undid the corpse warming that the Twin Temple had done. Don’t get me wrong, their music was cool. Yet, I would have to name them as one of the most antisocial bands I have ever seen playing live xD They performed what felt like three songs and disappeared almost without talking or interacting with the crowd. Maybe they were having a shitty day, who knows. But here’s them performing a song named Mind Crawler.
Finally, the time had come! Before the veil was unveiled, there was something in the air. An old, familiar scent. The scent of burned incense, like in churches!
With a loud cannon blast, the Nameless Ghouls charged at us with their mighty guitars! Damn, they looked so fucking awesome with their masks, that this time around seems to have some old divers helmet/steampunk influence, with horns. They were dressed all in black with the only identifiers being their instruments. And Papa emerged from behind them, wearing a steampunk vest, looking sharp and glorious head to toe.
They were opening with Kaisarion! And well, shit! I must say, they sound insanely good live. Not all bands can maintain sounding as good or close to how they sound on records.
Ghost does that with ease! Not only do they sound good, but they are also extremely fun to watch perform, and interact with each other while performing. The Nameless ghouls would have their rivalry going on, on who would manage to torture their guitars with the meanest riffs or who would get the loudest cheers from the crowd, fucking attention whores! Even Papa made it clear and made fun of them by doing the jerk-off motion at their riffs or shaming them xD It was hilarious!
And they care about entertaining every second they spend on the stage! All of them but especially Papa! It surprised me how much he cares about the people who see them live. There was something almost fatherly about his character. That seems like the hard opposite of Tobias himself. Tobias often comes across as a douche, full of himself at the interviews (the guy’s a musical genius in every sense of the word though). While, there is something almost humble and a lot more down-to-earth lurking in Papa Emeritus IV.
Ghost recently released their album Impera, and while every song on it is brilliant, at the concert their set had older songs as well. Such as - Mary On A Cross, Cirice, Year Zero, He Is, Square Hammer, Mummy Dust, Rats, Miasma, Dance Macabre, Witch Image, From The Pinnacle To The Pit, and others. Complete bangers! One after the other!
But as if that was not enough, Papa changed his wardrobe six or seven times! From his bat wings to the extravagant steampunk suit, to the glorious Year Zero robe, to the full-on Call Me Little Sunshine anti-papal vestment with mitre, to the dazzling emerald jacket! Papa Emeritus IV probably has spent a small fortune (well worth it) on them, and they were visually striking every step of the way!
The cherry on top? Yes! Pyrotechnics on stage! At one point, what felt like the culmination of the concert during Year Zero, it got so hellishly warm on stage, even we felt the heat from where we were standing in the crowd! They must have cooked there themselves on stage for a moment.
The whole composition of the concert was very well thought out. It contained all the right elements - entertainment, comedy, drama, the journey through the lyrics of songs, brilliant music and vocals from Papa Emeritus IV, and the visuals. A full package was served and delivered perfectly!
One of the funniest moments of the concert was when Papa Nihil was brought straight from the grave in his coffin and revived in the land of living on stage using the paddles xD He managed to play Miasma on his saxophone before going back to hell.
My favorite act from the whole show, however, was the performance of Call Me Little Sunshine. Papa was floating on the stage in his amazing anti-papal attire. It was almost enchanting to watch. I only later realized that he wore this outfit only for this song since I could not find any pictures I took. I had filmed the entire song instead. Shame for the official event photographers since they hang around just for one song usually! Take that, you suckers! That’s for taking my camera from me!
Finally, in the end, one of the Nameless Ghouls landed their guitar pick on @lemony-cricket’s forehead, and it fell on the ground which he then found and claimed rightfully his for the trauma caused before gifting it to me. Aww!
Anyhow, TL;DR: Ghost is an amazing band! You should give them a listen, and they are fantastic live performers!
Thank you for stopping by and reading through my concert experience and impressions! I sure hope that I will be able to post more often soon, but life is keeping me busy these days!
*Ghost’s biography borrowed from their Wikipedia
Song of the day: Ghost - He Is (one of my favorites from them)