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Ghost Bring Rats On The Road To The Sold Out Capitol Theatre

Ghost Rats! On The Road 2018

The Grammy Award winning Ghost has taken fans on a wild ride for the last few years, keeping fans guessing who was behind the band – until last year when frontman and mastermind Tobias Forge revealed himself. For those who don’t know, the band Ghost has been known to make a spectacle with every new release. Now in 2018 Ghost has returned and they’re blessing us with their fourth album Prequelle, which will be released on June 1st, 2018 via their record label Loma Vista Recordings. The album is available for pre-order HERE and comes in various formats and bundled packages. Bundles for the band’s fourth album Prequelle include colored vinyl with 3-D cover art, 8 track cartridge, cassette tape, and more, available in the link above.

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Ghost‘s new album Prequelle is said to dive into the plague, the apocalypse, and the dark ages. The entire album is a snapshot of the world we live in brought forth with emotive, enlightenment, and a riveting body of songs. As with every album Ghost has done, the Nameless Ghouls are joined by a new leader – this time, that leader comes in the form of Cardinal Copia, the successor to the beloved Papa Emeritus III.

The album’s first single “Rats”, which was released with a dark and grim apocalyptic video was received well by fans and critics alike, it is, dare I say, more mainstream than anything they’ve previously done yet still remains cool and still very much feels like Ghost. Even through the band’s heavier times they have always been very hit oriented with catchy choruses and guitar riffs. You can check out the music video for “Rats” HERE.

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The Rats! On The Road tour marks the first opportunity for fans to catch this new incarnation of the band and like every album cycle goes. The band just gets bigger and better than before. Tobias recently told Michigan radio station Z93 that Ghost plans to be on the road for 18 months or so and gradually grow into bigger venues through the album cycle. He also stated that Rats On The Road is just the infant stage of this tour cycle, you can hear the full interview HERE.

I’ve been following Ghost since the beginning, and they’ve always been a great show to catch. However with the latest line up and the addition of the first non Papa Emeritus leading the group, I was interested to see the new edition of Ghost. Interested in experiencing the new songs and live show in person. After attending the band’s surprise Sermon held last month at New York City’s Irving Plaza hosted by Papa Nihil and Sister Imperator (which if you missed you can read it here), I was excited at the opportunity to catch the bands only New York stop at the Capitol Theatre.

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I journeyed my way to Port Chester, NY, and when I arrived to the venue, droves of fans lined up outside the theater despite the rain and thunder swinging through the area. Some fans were there for the show, others arrived earlier because they had a VIP ticket that included some cool merch, a photo with Cardinal Copia himself, and even a very special experience which allowed VIP’s to pay their respects to the Papa’s who have made their way to the Papa afterlife. Packages like this are just one of the many reasons a Ghost show isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill concert.

As I made my way inside the Theatre I encountered tons of fans decked out in Ghost shirts and face paint. One particular fan caught my eye, a little Nameless Ghoul there and ready to join the band.

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Around 8 p.m. is when the show started, well kind of… Ghost put something extremely special for these shows. Before the band goes on “Klara stjarnor” by Jan Johansson and “Miserere Mei, Deus” by Gregorio Allegri are playing through the venues P.A. system with the theatre stage curtained off. At about 8:30 the music stops and Ghost guitars could be heard.

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As the curtain opened the crowd roared with excitement and the Nameless Ghouls & Ghoulettes, along with Cardinal Copia sporting a black suit, made their way to the stage. The set began with the bands single “Rats”, next up was “Absolution”. Right away, nerves calm and you can see this era of Ghost led by the Cardinal is going to be better than ever. He gestured and interacted like Papa III but with his own type of charisma and style leading the way. The band’s stage was once again stone-looking steps with stain glass backdrops this time revealing Papa Nihil. The lighting and energy was by far the best I’ve seen, and something new to the equation was the addition of ghouls acting as back up singers. The lighting changes to fit the mood of each track throughout the show. Besides the Cardinal, the Nameless Ghouls very much interacted with the crowd as well. Cardinal Copia also switched into his black Cardinal outfit after the third song of the set. This was the first of four outfit changes.

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Midway through the set the Ghouls had a jam session that sounded absolutely amazing, and towards the end of it Papa Nihil came on stage and played a solo on his saxophone, the crowd loved it! Cardinal Copia then returned to the stage with his third outfit change, this time wearing a white suit and a black top hat wrapped in white. Like Papa III, Copia has a sense of humor of his own, telling the crowd he’s sorry they were waiting out in the rain but it was the wrath of God; then he requested a round of applause for God’s wrath. Copia then told the crowd the band would perform a shuffle and ask for the crowd to clap on 2 and 4 before going into an acoustic version of “Jigolo Har Megiddo”.

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To add to the theatrics Copia and the Ghouls have split the show into acts, much like when you see a play. Act 1 and act 2 at the halfway point of the show, Ghost broke for a 15 minute intermission in which “Masked Ball” by Jocelyn Pook played through the P.A. When the band returned, Cardinal Copia is now in his red Cardinal attire. He asked the sold out theatre “Did you take a break?” in which the crowd replied “NO!”

The Ghouls and Cardinal then began playing fan favorites like “Year Zero”, “Spirit”, and “From The Pinnacle to the Pit”.  Copia then changed back to the black tuxedo for the song “He Is”, where he had a microphone stand with him at the top of the staircase and the ghouls all around him.

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For the song “Mummy Dust” the front man teased the crowd by asking “Do you like heavy music? Like really heavy music?” and also asked “Do you want me to tickle your taints?”

It’s little, subtle parts of the band’s performance that made the night memorable and broke up such an intense, long set. It’s so important for a frontman to interact and involve the crowd, and Cardinal Copia nailed that, the comedic portion of the show also helped to lift the weight and remind fans they’re supposed to enjoy themselves. As “Mummy Dust” came to a close, confetti rains down from the ceiling.  

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The band’s performance lasted about two hours, and included about six songs from the new album Prequelle and a wide array of popular tracks like the Rocky Erickson cover “If You Have Ghost”, “Square Hammer” and the encore “Monstrance Clock”.

I’ve experienced Ghost live quite a few times before, and I honestly have to say this show was next level. The attention to detail, the incorporation of the band’s story into things like the meet and greet, plus the guts to take risks and step out of previous comforts zones. These are all things that not only will sky rocket the group to the next level, but also make this a masterpiece of a performance. Longtime Ghost fans will absolutely love the band’s new performance, and those unfamiliar with the band will fall in love with them. They’re not for everyone, I get that and it’s respectable, however, love them or hate them you absolutely cannot deny the showmanship of Tobias and the Ghouls.  I would recommend seeing this tour if it’s coming your way; it’s a ton of bang for your buck.

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Rats! On The Road wraps up on June 1st in St. Paul, Minnesota at The Palace Theater; you can check out the full list of dates below. Ghost will also play two very special arena shows dubbed A Pale Tour Named Death in November and December. One at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA, the other at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets for both of those shows are available HERE!!!

Make sure to pick up Ghost’s fourth album Prequelle when it’s released on June 1st, get it HERE.

Check out the full gallery here!

Ghost 2018 Tour Dates:

May 16 – Syracuse, N.Y. @ Crouse Hinds Theater

May 18 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Benedum Center

May 19 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ WMMR BBQ

May 20 – Washington, D.C. @ Warner Theatre

May 22 – Asheville, N.C. @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

May 23 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Tennessee PAC

May 25 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Peabody Opera House

May 26 – Pryor, Okla. @ Rocklahoma

May 27 – Memphis, Tenn. @ Cannon Center

May 29 – Ft. Wayne, Ind. @ The Clyde Theater

May 31 – Milwaukee, Wis. @ Riverside Theater

June 01 – St. Paul, Minn. @ The Palace Theater

Nov. 16 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Forum

Dec. 15 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Barclays Center

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