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Ghost
Photo by Thomas Woroniak

Concert Review: GHOST at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS

GHOST Delivers a Haunting Performance in Lawrence, KS

Liberty Hall – 05 October 2015

Meliora
Read the review of Ghost – Meliora

The congregation gathered at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS on a crisp October night to witness the newly ordained Papa Emeritus III and his Nameless Ghouls, otherwise known as GHOST, deliver a wicked and memorable performance. Currently engaged in the “Black to the Future” tour, the Swedish rockers are actively supporting their most recent studio release, “Meliora,” which entered the Billboard 200 chart at position #8 with its first-week sales in August 2015.

Offering direct support on the tour, British psychedelic rockers PURSON kick off the evening with a bluesy and atmospheric mix of sludge and crunch. The enchanting siren’s call of frontwoman Rosalie Cunningham captivates the audience as the quintet cranks out an electrified set dripping with swagger and retro-infused groove, placing PURSON on the list of bands to check out next time they come around again. After the first set is done, it’s time to step outside into the cool night’s breeze while the stage is set for the diabolical majesty of the headlining act.

Against the backdrop of a dimly lit stage with its cathedral-inspired artwork, wisps of smoke and the heavy scent of incense hang in the air. The anticipation grows as the sounds of 17th-century Italian composer Gregorio Allegri’s “Miserere mei, Deus” (Have mercy on me, O God) fills the theater with angelic voices before descending into the infernal depths with Jocelyn Pook’s eerie minimalistic piece “Masked Ball,” which incorporates a fragment of an Orthodox Liturgy played backwards for a truly sinister effect. The song was featured in Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut, and is now a fitting introduction to Ghost’s set, as the masked Nameless Ghouls take their respective places on stage.

Ghost - Papa Emeritus III
Papa Emeritus III

Dressed in the unholy vestments and regalia proper to his position as the figurehead of the dark clergy, Papa Emeritus III emerges from the shadows like a phantom from the mist, as the group dives into Meliora’s opening track “Spirit” in the midst of chants and exaltation from the audience. “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” quickly follows with its infectious low-end groove as a Nameless Ghoul steps into the light to deliver the bluesy bass riff that propels the song forward. The extended setlist was filled with crowd favorites, like “Per Aspera ad Inferi” off of 2013’s Infestissunam and “Majesty” from Meliora. The audience cheered as the band launched into the devilishly catchy single from Meliora, “Cirice,” followed by another track from Infestissunam, “Year Zero.”

A brief instrumental interlude followed with “Spöksonat,” before continuing into three more tracks from Meliora – the anthemic “He Is,” and the sinister hooks of “Absolution” and “Mummy Dust.” The crowd was treated to an acoustic rendition of “Jigolo Har Megiddo,” followed by “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen,” before ending the set with the cover of Roky Erickson‘s “If You Have Ghosts.” The congregation cries out for more, and after a short intermission the band returns to the stage to deliver an encore performance of “Monstrance Clock” before saying goodnight. As the stage lights dim and the house lights go up signaling the end of this evening’s festivities, the congregation exits the theater into the Kansas night to the sound of “The Host of Seraphim” by Dead Can Dance.

Ghost
Liberty Hall – Lawrence, KS – 10/05/2015

Ghost deliver a live performance that captivates the audience and elevates the music to the next level, providing the fans with a visual spectacle that can only be appreciated first-hand. When they come to your area, go check them out! If you have Ghost, you have everything.

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About Thomas Woroniak

Owner/Editor/Photographer/Journalist at AntiHero Magazine — Thomas is a concert photographer and writer living in the Kansas City, MO area. When he isn’t elbowing people in the photo pit, he makes an actual living as a web developer and freelance motion graphics designer. He is also a guitarist and studied music composition at the University of Illinois at Chicago — Author: Thomas Woroniak

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