Ghost Spooks Central Florida

By on November 6, 2016
PAPA EMERITUS (photo WILL OGBURN)

PAPA EMERITUS (photo WILL OGBURN)

A mass of rockers clad in black descended upon the Hard Rock Live inside of Universal’s City Walk on Wednesday, as Ghost and Marissa Nadler were set to take the stage. Inline with the ghoulish frontman of Ghost, Papa Emeritus, fans painted their face and donned huge papal hats in the crowd. On a night where the World Series captivated America, it was all about the Music in Orlando.

Marissa Nadler

Of all of the shows I’ve seen and reviewed, this is the strangest experience I’ve had with an opener. Imagine a subdued, two piece, coffee shop band opening up for a satanic rock group, and that was basically the setup. If someone was dealing with a breakup, or taking a relaxing shower, this music would be ideal. Though Marissa Nadler has a beautiful voice, her songs are so soft and sad that it almost does the opposite of warming up the crowd. As the crowd stood on in puzzlement, unsure of what to do with their hands, it was probably all part of the plan for one of the most enigmatic bands in the business right now.

MARISSA NADLER (photo WILL OGBURN)

MARISSA NADLER (photo WILL OGBURN)

Ghost

Ghost is one of the best live experiences in rock and roll. I first saw them at Welcome to Rockville earlier this year, but I knew that the show would be even more incredible when the band had full control of the stage and lighting.

The spooky, ominous band started with started with two songs on track. Sounds of evil monks chanting spilled out of the speakers and filled the venue with a genuine feeling of unease.

In a plume of smoke, the demonic conductor appeared. Papa Emeritus took the stage with his five masked band members known as Faceless Ghouls.

(photo WILL OGBURN)

(photo WILL OGBURN)

Their first song out of the gate was the 80s techno sound of “Square Hammer”, which finally broke the silence and let the crowd finally bang their heads.

They rewarded the crowd with “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” next, a fan favorite with catchy chorus that had hands waving and voices screaming. Speaking of choruses, the synced-up vocals of the nameless bandmates made this one especially fun live.

Their act as a whole was incredibly fun, with plenty of fan interaction. As creepy as Papa Emeritus looks, it’s easy to see that he loves his fans. It was equally clear that they loved him back, as early in the set one handed him a painting of his face. After a few drinks, another fan threw a bra at him.

(photo WILL OGBURN)

(photo WILL OGBURN)

The overall feeling of the show was an interesting mix of terror and love, as Papa joked with fans and bandmates between tracks. The lighting, stage design, and overall presentation were incredible – each song felt like a bit of performance art on top of a face melting rock show. There was a grand, dark cathedral backdrop and spirals of smoke climbing out of it. The band brought out dark nuns that sprayed blood on the crowd.

The setlist was everything a fan could want, with the aforementioned “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” coming early, the Grammy-winning “Cirice” sandwiched in the middle, and “Mummy Dust” slated as the finale.

(photo WILL OGBURN)

(photo WILL OGBURN)

Overall Ghost was everything I could’ve hoped for in a rock show, and they make sure fans get their money’s worth. So many bands are content to jam along in ironic T-shirts – but Ghost is an experience, and there are few like it in the rock and roll world right now.

FULL PHOTO GALLERY BY WILL OGBURN

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