On November 3rd Papa Emeritus III and The Nameless Ghouls performed Miami’s first Ritual at the Fillmore on their Popestar Tour. In the past few years Ghost has solidified themselves as one of the greats in the metal world. Their live show is even more meticulous and carefully crafted than their recordings, making it an absolute must-see.
The live show of Ghost has transformed in the past years, becoming bigger and better, making the Fillmore a great choice for their performance (South Florida’s previous Ritual was at Revolution Live in 2014). While their stage set up may be minimal, with a strained glass backdrop, checkered floor, and a staired platform, the band doesn’t need much to put out a great performance. The Nameless Ghouls took the stage while Papa III made his grand entrance down the center of the platform in his extremely detailed black robes, skeletal face, and Ghost-logo emblazoned mitre. The band kicked off the night with their most recent single “Square Hammer” which started the crowd off in a frenzy.
The great thing about Ghost is they are truly a live band; while their recorded music is fantastic to listen to, unless you experience a Ritual yourself you are doing yourself a disservice. While the uber-sacrilegious lyrics may seem off putting to your less Satanic friends, the music itself is upbeat and technical to the point where even people who may not be a fan of true metal music are able to enjoy Ghost.
While the transitions between songs is flawless, the Ghouls leave Papa III enough time between to throw out his playfully childish (and usually sexual) banter to the crowd (he is quite the fan of female orgasms). Ghouls Alpha (lead guitar), Ether (rhythm guitar), and Water (bass) continuously moved around the stage engaging the crowd, and standing together atop the altar. The Sisters of Sin made an appearance performing the Communion duties to lucky audience members before the band broke into “Body and Blood” off the album Infestissumam.
Ghost’s live performance continues to progress with each tour, both visually and musicly. They do not require large and ornate prop shows to provide the ultimate experience. The set lists continue to get tighter, and despite a roster shake up at the beginning of the tour leaving a missing Omega, the intrinsic nature of the band is unparalleled. The band highlighted two of my personal live favorites “Con Clavi Con Dio” and “Per Aspera ad Inferi” right after each other. These two songs are incredible to see performed lived for their hammering beats, and chanting vocals. Papa III and the Ghouls were not afraid to bring out a fewer slower songs for the crowd either, letting the fans sing along to “He Is” and “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen.” The band in its usual fashion closed the Ritual to the encore of “Monstrance Clock” ending the night off with the crowd repeating “Come together, together as a one/Come together for Lucifer’s son/Come together, together as a one/Come together, forever as one.” And if that isn’t Grade A Bible style togetherness, I’m not sure what is in this day and age.
Whether you’re a huge of fan of the spooky scene, a casual fan of metal, or just want to experience a show that is unlike any other, be sure to catch Ghost whenever they come through. Each Ritual is different from the last, finetuned for the city it is being performed, so you’re sure to experience a unique show, and some unique jokes from our ghoulish frontman.
1. Square Hammer
2. From the Pinnacle to the Pit
3. Secular Haze
4. Con Clavi Con Dio
5. Per Aspera ad Inferi
6. Body and Blood
7. Devil Church
9. Year Zero
10. He Is
12. Mummy Dust
13. Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
Encore: Monstrance Clock