I Went To See Ghost Live In Cardiff Motorpoint Arena Last Night on Sunday 17.11.19

Succinct Ghost review:

  • I was not really in the mood for going as my wife and baby were sick and I had been looking after them all week, but luckily my wife was better in time for the concert, so I didn’t feel too dodgy going.
  • The headliner was Ghost, who I came to late, having dipped my toes in when Infestisimaum was new, but not committed to until Meliora was old and Popestar was out. They play a very unique blend of retro hard rock and heavy metal but with lots of 70s/80s pop influence and ’70s prog instrumentation without being proggy. Their singer dresses as a skeletal pope most of the time (except for this album cycle which is thematically a prequel and now he is a living cardinal) and the rest of the band are unknown and were masks to hide their identity and are referred to only as nameless ghouls. The band are known to be great live due to the spectacle, but also musically. Their live album is audio only, and is superb.  
  • I got there late and missed the first warm up band except for the last 1-2 mins. The second warm up band, All Them Witches, weren’t my cup of tea even though I usually enjoy Stoner and Psychedelic music. Luckily, as they weren’t too big a draw for this typ of crowd, I got very close to the front without even trying.
Cardinal Copia up close
  • After a long build up with big curtains obscuring everything and creepy choral music playing, Ghost came on, had a really nice stage, back drops and marble effect ramp lay out.
Ghouls on Marble
Full band
  • The performance was great live. The songs are so much heavier and crunchier. The guitar tone is twice as metallic live and the drummer slams it out so much harder. There is room for ghoul improve at times. It just felt bigger and more energetic and livelier.
Guitar Ghoul and light show
  • The setlist covered every studio album and had some non-album tracks from the better known singles/EPs, but was weighted really heavily on the two newest studio albums Meliora and Prequelle. They played a number of instrumentals and had a guitar battle with the ghouls to give the singer time for multiple costume changes.
  • The showmanship and stage banter was really amusing, campy, fun and silly. The cardinal would mince around the stage in an old fashioned way and made lots of dirty jokes. He rode a tricycle around at one point. His gesturing, body language and general stagey theatrics would be off putting for the ultra-serious metal head in me, but the fun factor is undeniable. If Alice Cooper can get away with it, Ghost are his amusing disciples.
Costume change
  • There was smoke cannons, confetti cannons and some sparing pyro. There was a very good light show. It was all really well balanced and paced. They created some really cool images (which I didn’t get on camera) in which the cardinal was inside the smoke or inside the confetti storm.
Smoke Cannons
  • Highlights included: Papa Nihil coming out and playing a saxophone solo, a very heavy rendition of ‘Mummy Dust’ with an amusing dust confetti ending, lots of pyro and a great live production on ‘Year Zero,’ the cardinal saying ‘‘we wouldn’t end the show without a goodnight kiss’’ then slamming into an absolutely momentous rendition of new tune ‘Kiss The Go Goat’ and of course, the band ending with their best song ‘Square Hammer. ’
Skeletal Pope playing Saxapohne
  • This is a gig I will never forget. It was so much better than I’m describing it, but I’ve been typing all day at work and also short on time. I recommend seeing them live so much, (especially now they have the Prequelle and Satanic Panic songs to mix into the set).
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  1. Cool review! It wasn’t until I saw Ghost open for Iron Maiden that I got it so to speak with the whole Ghost schtick!
    Tobias Forge writes great rock tracks!

    Liked by 1 person

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