May 13, 2013

Ghost at Webster Hall, New York City 11/05/2013

Dear fellow Ghost devotees,

last Saturday's live ritual at Webster Hall has been entirely filmed from the crowd and then kindly shared on Youtube (thanks Samael Ng!). Let us enjoy this unholy vision together!

Updates: another video of the full ritual is available, shot from the balcony:

Ghost N.Y.C.: The Demons of Sweden in the City That Never Sleeps
Submitted to the Coven fan site on 16 May 2013 by Matt (thank you!)

On 11 May 2013, Ghost, now known as Ghost B.C. in the US for legal reasons, performed at Webster Hall in an especially historic section of Manhattan in New York City. For one night, the nightclub venue was transformed into a place for Ghost devotees to “come together, together as one”, as the lyrics from their song Monstrance Clock would say it.
During the time between the release of their first album Opus Eponymous in January of 2011 and Infestissumam in April of 2013, Ghost’s popularity skyrocketed and the band underwent a number of changes, including the addition of “B.C.” and frontman Papa Emeritus’s transformation from Papa Emeritus to Papa Emeritus II, as he is now known. Impressed by their instantly classic sound, I purchased Opus Eponymous shortly after its release. The band members’ anonymity also captured my attention from the very beginning, leaving me wondering what would soon become of this new and unorthodox band. Clearly, they had begun something that would reach larger proportions. Come 2013, the inevitable restlessness behind the release of their second album and their subsequent tour made me want to see them live even more. My wish came to fruition at last on May 11th.
As I walked in with a dear friend of mine, lights in varying shades of blue greeted the concert-goers, setting the night’s eerie tone. Ides of Gemini, the opening band, followed suit with a dark and gothic sound carried out through a handful of their songs. Before they took the stage, no one whom I been chatting with at the venue had known the band. With no expectations set, I was pleasantly surprised by their performance and found it to be a very appropriate way to begin the night.
Ides Of Gemini

After the lighting of incense sticks and chalices by the band’s crew, Ghost took the stage. The Nameless Ghouls appeared, took their positions, and performed their second album’s title track "Infestissumam". Papa Emeritus II then emerged from the fog and darkness, greeting the crowd with staff in hand, and the crowd responded in cheers. The song moved seamlessly into "Per Aspera ad Inferi" as it does on the album, and I finally heard Papa’s voice live as he began to sing it. I was hooked. From the very beginning, the delivery of their theatric stage presence was unlike anything I’d ever experienced even in a theater setting. I even found myself pointing at the band members in child-like admiration as they appeared.

Throughout the rest of the night, Ghost performed the entirety of their first album and half of their second album, moving effortlessly back and forth between the two. The crowd sang along the whole time and affirmed each performance with very positive reactions. The light show against a church-like background was executed perfectly in terms of following both the rhythm and tone for each song. Although I enjoyed every one, the highlights for me were Elizabeth and Year Zero, my two favorites from the albums. The final song of the night was Monstrance Clock, also the last song on Infestissumam. As the show concluded, the Nameless Ghouls tossed their guitar picks into the crowd, bade farewell, and departed from the stage with Papa.
Papa, as his demonized papal attire would befit, had an authoritative presence throughout the whole night. He was also quite interactive with the crowd, speaking to us between songs and giving his thanks to us extensively, holding out his hands to the fans who were lucky enough to be able to touch them, and even accepting a couple of items made by the fans themselves, at which point the crowd erupted in cheers both times.

Overall, the show was incredible. I encourage all fans of Ghost to see them if they have yet to. The experience is a solid performance coupled with a very unique stage presence that only Ghost could deliver.

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