Ghost has always been a versatile band and fans cannot really expect what would be their next step in musically or what happens on stage. Ghost’s singer and head visionary Tobias Forge has said in Guitar.com interview that he has plans all the way up to year 2025. He even has the next albums name in mind, although “Impera” album was just released.
Ghost new “Impera” album was released 11th of March. The Impera tour started 9th of April from Manchester England, where Ghost performed at AO arena.
Ghost show in Leipzig 21st of April was forced to cancel by unknown reason. Only handout to the fans was that the situation regarding the gig was beyond band and their managements hands. Band also performed two shows in Germany both sides of Leipzig canceled show.
Last Ghost show in Finland was 28th of November 2019 at Hartwall Arena Helsinki, where I had also honor to be.
For the first time I personally saw Ghost was in Helsinki Icehall close to five years ago. I still remember that excitement and feeling I had on that day. Ghost performance was also a first one of kind where I noticed that band also uses audience’s sense of smell. Before the show started technicians lighted incenses which was clever gimmick that I haven’t knew anyone else usen. That really gave extra feeling for the evening!
This evening started with a special guest Twin Temple. The band combines Doo-Wob style to satanic theme and song lyrics. One way to describe the vocals could be like Amy Winehouse meets Satan. On the first notes forward it was clear that the band’s singer Alexandra James is a very talented in what he does. And not only the singer was good, but the whole band played well for whole gig.
Band had rather short but entertaining visit on stage because they played only six songs. Red and sometimes blue lights combined to a Satanic mood worked like a charm! Gig started with ritual with swords on stage, throwing holy or “unholy water” to the audience. After second song Alexandra threw roses to audience as well which was nice gesture and brings together the overall atmosphere. And it is always pleasure and huge plus side to hear saxophone solo on stage and so we did!
Definitely entertaining and unique show that I would have liked to listen little longer.
Evenings second special guest Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats brought little more melancholy sound to Nokia Arena which was at least half full on this point. Uncle Acid music springs from early metal era 60’s and 70’s. Guitar sounds especially were old-school stylish with Ampeg cabinets. Many refer bands guitar sounds and playing to old Black Sabbath. Although the bands music influences are way back from decades, for me the overall performance wasn’t blast from the past.
Stage was super dark as there were very little lights turned on. The whole feeling was sort of melancholy and dark. For the viewer like me who doesn’t know the bands production, songs and sounds were somewhat repeatable. As stage performance and song catchiness isn’t the bands number one act, I would think that seeing it a live for the first time doesn’t hit you that hard. Sometimes its vice versa live situations catch you more than records.
At least one true Uncle Acid fan did bring joy to my face by shouting, dancing in the stands and really breathing the whole show. That is what music is really about, to move and touch. As I do like older metal especially 80’s, if that’s count as an older metal, I didn’t have time to set my inner clock back to late 60’s. But let’s hope that the bands the innermost characteristics turn up on me at some day.
Evening’s brightest star Ghost had a playtime starting at 9pm. Fifteen minutes before the show familiar piano tunes started to flood from the monitors, mood around was starting to get excited as everyone were waiting Ghost. Over 10 000 fans were gathered to Nokia Arena to watch Swedish rock spectacle.
After the two special guest shows were dark what comes to stage lights, Ghost had brought a massive number of lights to Nokia Arena. Gig started with a new song “Kaisarion” which gathered huge applauds at the end.
Ghost has a very nice balance of thoughtful and some improvised sense of humor. Ghouls had this time too a guitar battle between them which gives nice laughter since its not a “real” guitar battle as we all know, but teasing each other’s.
Papa Emeritus IV was giving a speech once one technician did bring a mic stand behind him. Papa noticed it little later and gave “aha” -voice while noticing the stand. Whole front line started laugh. “What are you laughing for?” was asking Papa afterwards. This is splendid little comic that suits nicely to show.
“Spillways” was also one of the new songs that was presented in the show. After the song Papa also mentioned that this song is a real mother fucker to sing. I can buy that since the song has little time between lines, so techniques must be right to survive that, and of course Papa did survive.
“He Is” brought some older and highly liked tunes to audiences. Ending of the song was guitarist’s rejoicing by each other stretching tunes over each other. Finally they over stretched the ending, by meaning of course, so that other guitarist Ghoul got angry for other and threw picks on him. Again, crowd got a reason to smile and laugh some more.
“Call Me Little Sunshine” brought tempo little lower and lights were again very beautiful. “Year Zero” had so massive pyros that even whole big back sheet started to wave back and forth. “Miasma” has always been one of my favorite songs. This time old grand Papa Nihil was brought to stage on bed which was lift for up position. Technician came and used defibrillator for old grand and brought him back to life for a while. And like many times before old grands saxophone solo started from there on. After solo was over Papa Nihil was towed back to crypts or where ever he will rest until next gig.
“Kiss The Goat” had again splendid lights! Ghost really have put some time and thoughts for the light show, this time there were nice layering for the light above the stages which started and shut precise with music.
Papa also gave a speech about coming on a concert. I think he didn’t even mean by this specific concert but all concerts and events around. He said that some of you are tough, but some are not so toughs. And he liked to point out that it was very nice that those who are not the toughest ones also came to a concert. Inspirational speech which whole hall was listening carefully and gave big applauds afterwards. Papa pointed that Ghost has come overall 12 years to Finland and thanks for all those nice encounters. “Every time everyone has been nice to us”.
On encore Ghost played “Enter Sandman” cover from Metallica, “Dance Macabre” and last, but not least “Square Hammer”.
Overall, very good gig, entertaining as always! Ghost has long run of gigs behind already for this year and playing showed as easy and precise.
Text: Tanu Jänkä
Pictures: Sini Sulkakoski
Setlists of the evening:
UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS