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Ghost haunts Colorado

Photo: Taelar Pollmann • The Sentry
The Cardinal controls the stage in Loveland, CO.

Two rituals in two days

The feeling in the air right before an entertainer is due to perform is electric.  Ghost knows how to turn that anticipation up to 11 and deliver night after night.  The Ultimate Tour Named Death made two stops in Colorado that did not disappoint.  Much to the Cardinal’s delight the audience confirmed their “taints were tickled, and asses were wobbled,” when asked.

This is not the first band to have a full gimmick for the stage, but they have perfected the art of performing music as a character.  They are so much more than a band.  Ghost is a multiple platform entertainment experience that weaves every album, webisode, public appearance, and ritual (concert) together to form an intricate story of a Satanic church that uses ‘Ghost’ to spread the message of Satan.   

Cardinal Copia, the band’s current front man, is now in his second tour cycle with rumblings that he may be promoted to papal status in time for their next album that could be released as early as 2020.  The Clergy strives for consistency in their rituals so everyone in attendance experiences the same performance.  Historic theatres often do not allow confetti or pyrotechnics in concerts and that has caused inconsistencies on past tours and frustrations on both sides of the barricade.

Now that Ghost is playing arenas, they can perform the exact same show at every stop with the same effects.  The only differences between Loveland and Colorado Springs were a few bits of improvisation by the Nameless Ghouls, the Cardinal going off on a little tangent about liking his ass bit with growling sound effects provided by himself, and the crowd’s ability to sing the chorus to “Satan Prayer” without guidance.

Their movements around the stage are as well rehearsed as the boxing scene from Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights.  The Cardinal has a striking resemblance to Vincent Price and moves like a vaudevillian actor who studied under the great Bela Lugosi.  He even appears in a cape, his fifth costume change of the ritual, that could have been taken from the set of Lugosi’s Dracula.  At the end of the song, the Cardinal walks off stage in the signature vampire pose, leaving behind no doubt who has influenced the man behind the mask over the years.   

Other visually historic cinematic moments are peppered throughout the ritual and visual aesthetic of the band.  After “Helvetesfonster” the Cardinal appears dressed in white riding a tricycle, a la Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and plays the joke of mismatched sound the same each time.  Ghost is better rehearsed than many major Broadway touring companies and if there were any mistakes or missed marks between the two rituals they weren’t noticeable by the audience.

These intimate moments that fans share with the Cardinal or the Nameless Ghouls penetrate the soul and become a part of that person.  These rituals are cathartic evenings for those in attendance and when the performers come together to take their bow, the love the fans sent them is returned tenfold.

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