Article by Andrés Alvarado // Photos by Ryan Fleisher
The otherworldly experience that is a Ghost show disembarked in Duluth, and placed a wickedly grim musical spell over the thousands on hand. The wonderfully chic Gas South District Arena played host, a gargantuan and vociferous pack of Atlantans played guests, and Ghost played the theatrics that made this whole night worthwhile. Long story short, Ghost came, Ghost saw, Ghost conquered. The local crowd was treated to a doom-metal extravaganza that it will not soon forget.
Led by gloomily kooky front-man, Cardinal Copia A.K.A. Papa Emeritus, a Ghost throwdown is not quite what the average musical aficionado thinks of when you say, “metal concert.” No, a Ghost spectacle is much more — sure, the music is what brings in the masses; nonetheless, the atmosphere is substantially extra. There is a Broadway-like flair to a Ghost setting. The Swedish rockers operate behind a spooky facade of uniforms, masks, and ominous make-up. Rock Lords with a heretical agenda to entice the masses to worship at their feet.
Having recently released their critically acclaimed fifth record, Impera, the chaps of Ghost amuse to no end — or, at least for the entirety of their pageantry. With Cardinal Copia at the helm and his nameless ghouls — armed with instruments and bottomless talents — lurking in the background, the night was a go. Colorfully dim lighting resonates throughout the evening, fanatics ready for the thrilling roller-coaster of tunes, the boys unleash their unholy best, and pandemonium overtook the space within the arena walls.
All said and done, Ghost is simply amazing, visually and musically complex, and ridiculously astounding on that stage. Ultimately, onlookers were served roughly 20 tracks, a world-class devilish symphony, and an endless supply of sacrilegious jubilation — for that ride home.