One of the most anticipated gigs of the year has arrived …
When Ghost announced at Slane Castle earlier in the year that he would be returning to Ireland there was a palpable “Oooooooh” from the crowd, that day has finally arrived and in tow we have Tribulation and All Them Witches providing tonight support. One of the most talked about artists Ghost has this aura around him. A fantastical quality that resonates with his fan base and tonight Ireland will get its fix.
Opening tonight Tribulation, Black Metal at its finest, light at an absolute minimum. Atmospheric and powerful Tribulation slay their opening set with a dark and intense performance.
Lit from underneath their stance intensified makes for a gruesome sight. Hardcore fans raging at the front in adoration as Tribulation set the 3 Arena on fire. A breathtaking performance, sets the evening up nicely as the crowd takes a little time to catch their breath. The Swedish Black Metal maestros recently dropped their latest studio album Alive & Dead At Södra Teatern and Dublin got treated to their latest offering live along with some tasty fan favourites. If you want to find out more check out the links below:
All Them Witches from Nashville Tennessee are up next and in a deviation to what proceeded they bring their Fuzz infused, Stoner/ Psych Rock and the 3 Arena responds in kind. Bathed in red light this hefty trio bang out gnarly riffage in abundance, lengthy guitar tune ups after each song drags out the suspense.
The band bring a gritty quality, a tight add trio thrashing out hefty tunage that grips you, tossing out barabaric bass lines and screaming guitar solos they mesmerise the Irish crowd. Pummelling the Irish crowd ,their set intensified as its builds to a crescendo leaving the crowd baying for more.
Check them out here:
Cometh the hour cometh the band and Ghost is that band. A gargantuan stage to house the nameless ghouls and the man himself is set alight at 9pm. The curtain drops to a wall of distortion and the overwhelming roar of the capacity Irish crowd. Adorned in his signature red velvet suit strutting his way from one side of the stage to the other as his majestic ensemble delivers a blistering opener.
Three songs in and the nameless ghouls are given the opportunity for a little solo time as the guitarists are up front and centre throwing out a Thin Lizzy lick to amuse the Irish crowd …. all whilst a hefty keyboard chord hangs over the auditorium. Ghost takes his audience on a sonic rollercoaster ride, through hefty riff-laden songs to take the breath away fused with highly melodic overtures that engage the crowd. The Irish crowd are in fine voice as they support the band in every chorus throughout the night.
The stage setup is majestic with the stained glass window backdrop and multi layered stairs that allow the band members to weave up and down at their leisure. Papa Nihil makes his appearance on saxophone once again for his solo in ‘Miasma’ and of course the Irish crowd goes bat shit crazy. Tobias takes his time to toy with the crowd, pulling at them like puppets on a string as he orchestrates cheers from either side of the room, the freedom a headline gig offers opposed to the support slot when Ghost supported Metallica at Slane offers the artist the opportunity to express himself further and engage with his audience deeper than before.
As a result you get a more cinematic quality to the stage show, you get to see a variety of side of the band as a whole that a support slot denies you. One thing Ghost brings is drama to a stage show, it’s a visual experience for sure, from the numerous nameless ghouls to the multiple outfit changes and atmospheric lighting and religious imagery, you’ll not forget a Ghost show in a hurry.The musicianship is first class, and the fact the identity of the musicians is hidden adds that little more drama and curiosity regarding the band itself.
Live there’s a savagery about their performance that cuts like a knife, the riffs pounding at you whilst the bass shakes the foundations of the room, yet it’s all meshed together with highly melodic vocals and even more addictive hooks. Add a little fire and I’m sold! What? What was already a powerful entity getsthe bar raised even further and becomes an even more grandiose experience.
The evening is beautifully rounded up with ‘Dance Macabre’ and as an encore ‘Square Hammer’ which brings the house down. A fan favourite and a great closer to tonight’s proceedings. Something tells me this is only the beginning of a beautiful relationship, time will tell. The 3 Arena empties and as the crowd pours out onto the street the overwhelming majority agree they witnessed something pretty special this evening.
If you want to find out more check out the links below:
https://www.facebook.com/thebandghost/ , http://ghost-official.com/
Review & Photography by Mark McGrogan – Rock n Load mag