Ghost Deliver Their Biggest Ritual Yet With “Ultimate Tour Named Death” Hershey Stop
Ghost Ultimate Tour Named Death 2019
Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge has made it a point to continuously push the boundaries of what’s possible with the Grammy nominated Swedish Satanic powerhouse that consists of The Nameless Ghouls & Ghoulettes along with their fearless leader Cardinal Copia.
After seeing nearly 18 shows at this point, I myself always ask how could the band deliver anything I haven’t seen before? Then I see the show and I’m mesmerized once again. For such a heavily touring band, Forge continues to deliver a breath of fresh air into the project and frankly with every tour Ghost becomes more impressive.
Since the beginning, Tobias has envisioned something much bigger for Ghost, bigger than just 1,000 capacity venues with limited stage space. He knew Ghost was meant to be a spectacle, something he has now achieved with the 2018 release of their fourth studio album Prequelle and of course closing out 2018 with headlining Brooklyn, NY’s Barclay Center.
Now the Ghouls and Cardinal Copia have returned with their Ultimate Tour Named Death accompanied by a new E.P of sorts Seven Inches of Satanic Panic, which features two new tracks “Kiss The Go-Goat” & “Mary on a Cross”.
Ghost’s latest haunting over North America might be the last we see of the now frontman Cardinal Copia and with Ghost expected to not tour North America throughout 2020, it was imperative I got my fix now, while I still can.
I had the pleasure of catching the guys at the Giant center in Hershey PA.
The Ultimate Tour Named Death features sole support act Nothing More who is out on the road in support of 2017’s The Stories We Tell Ourselves. Opening for Ghost is no easy feat, however if there is an act that can keep up, it’s these Texas progressive rock heavyweights.
Nothing More deliver the perfect blend of beauty and chaos. Vocalist Jonny Hawkins displays emotions that bring each song to life and allows the lyrics to tell their story with aggression, sadness, and even sometimes joy.
For Hawkins, Daniel Oliver, Mark Vollelunga and Ben Anderson, Nothing More has always been about the message.
Every performance is executed with precision, and this was no different. In fact, I think this is the best I’ve seen the guys and that says a lot because they’re always great. Frontman Jonny Hawkins came out in a tank top but midway through went shirtless as usual. The band kicked things off performing their high-energy tracks “Let ‘em Burn,” and “Go to War,” alongside more emotionally chord striking numbers like “Jenny” and “Fade In/Fade Out.” The trio of Hawkins, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, and bassist Daniel Oliver teamed up for a three-way bass solo backed by drummer Ben Anderson. The night’s nine song set came to a close with Hawkins high above the stage on the famed Scorpion’s Tail for the Skrillex cover track, “First of the Year (Equinox)” before coming to a finale with “Salem (Burn The Witch)”.
Ghost took to the stage with a roar of excitement from their legion of Pennsylvania fans. After the eerie opening intro, “Ashes”, the Nameless Ghouls and Mr. Copia took their places in front of a massive backdrop resembling a cathedral. Copia surrounded by the Ghouls and Ghoulettes, which included three guitarists, a bassist, drummer, and two keyboardists. Ghouls dressed in their very best black funeral attire and shiny silver face masks.
The group appears like a Satanic symphony, the Cardinal looking dapper in his red suit. Clearly Ghost dressed to impress for these latest Rituals. Copia as always commanded the crowd with his one of a kind showmanship and comedic banter. Whether Copia joked about taint tickling, asses wobbling or just introducing the songs, the crowd hung on every word.
It’s not very often you attend a show that has high energy, crowd participation, and even laughter mixed all together and not many could pull it off. For Forge and company, this has been a recipe for success, the reason they are a Michelin star quality artist of the music industry.
The band was flawless from the opening riffs of the band’s hit, “Rats” off the latest record, Prequelle, and all through even their deep cut fan favorites like “Devil Church”, “Cirice” & “Year Zero”.
Ghost also made it a point to perform both tracks from their recently released two-track EP, Seven Inches of Satanic Panic, “Mary on a Cross,” and “Kiss the Go-Goat,” both delivered with a psychedelic feel and sound absolutely phenomenal live.
The show is brought to the next level by the production aspects which Tobias is able to bring to life thanks to the scope of the arenas being played on the tour. Everything from Ghost money, to rolling fog, pyro and loads of confetti paired with the beautiful lighting take this great show to a spectacular level. The curation and thought put into this performance, pairs one half rock show and one half broadway theatrics making an unforgettable evening.
Papa Nihil makes an appearance mid-set during “Miasma” to play saxophone during an incredibly cool jam session. Nihil isn’t the only special guest of the evening, the appearance from a group of plague doctors causes whispers at what this could mean for the future of Ghost and how it ties in to the next possible generation of Papa 4. This was a part of the show that caused speculation through the tour and literally while people walked to their cars after the show.
The 90 minute set was packed with everything you want from a Ghost show, the setlist pretty well balanced from the band’s catalogue featuring songs from all four studio albums and two of the bands EP’s.
Ghost closed out the night with an encore performance of the fan favorite “Square Hammer”, which found the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs.
After seeing Ghost countless times, in all different size venues it’s safe to say they’re incapable of putting on a bad show. The performance offers something for everyone and explores so many different emotions during the set, it’s one of the few concerts where I’ve consistently seen fans walk out in droves with smiles and joy all over their face. People love this band and it’s easy to see why, Forge and the Ghouls have dedicated themselves to making each tour bigger and better than the last.
There are only a few dates left to catch the Ultimate Tour Named Death and if you’re lucky enough to be in one of those cities, I highly suggest you get your butt off the couch and go see this show for yourself. Check out the remaining dates below as well as the setlist from the night!
Ghost North American Tour Dates:
October 25th – Cure Insurance Arena, Trenton, NJ
October 26th- Cool Insuring Arena, Glens Falls, NY
Setlist October 24th, Giant Center, Hershey, PA: