It’s been 2 years since I’ve photographed or even seen live music. I spent a few days in New York City back in February of 2020 photographing Heilung and Machine Head on separate evenings at Webster Hall. Then everything went sideways. So, to say I was thrilled to be back watching live music again would be an understatement. As we head full steam into March of 2022 and COVID-19 restrictions continue to slowly ease, it’s refreshing to see so many amazing tours popping up on the gig radar.
As the crowd began to gather outside the venue on a chilly Wednesday evening, the staff at Cable Dahmer Arena handled audience safety with relative ease. Although proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result (within the past 72 hours) was required for entry, they also provided on-site quick testing for anyone who didn’t meet the previously mentioned requirements.
Ghost and Volbeat kicked off a co-headlining tour on January 25, 2022, in Reno, Nevada, and the North American run wraps up on March 3, 2022, in Anaheim, California. The tour also includes a must-see opening set from special guests, Twin Temple. Tickets for the tour are currently available through Ticketmaster.
The opening ceremony was performed by Twin Temple, the Los Angeles-based curators of “Satanic Doo-Wop”, led by husband-and-wife duo Zachary and Alexandra James. Effortlessly blending the styles of ‘50s and ‘60s rock-n-roll, the group’s 2019 debut, Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop), offers a refreshing mix of Alexandra’s soulful yet playful vocals with Zachary’s warm guitar tones. Throw in some saxophone and keyboards, and you’ve got yourself a devilish party. And while the crowd was still trickling in during the start of Twin Temple’s set, the ensemble was quick to gain the audience’s approval. This was my first time with Twin Temple but I look forward to their next endeavor.
Danish rockers Volbeat were up next with an extended set-list consisting of a mix of new tracks off their recent 2021 release, Servant of the Mind, like “Shotgun Blues”, as well as long-standing crowd favorites, “Lola Montez”, “A Warrior’s Call”, and finale “Still Counting”. Volbeat frontman Michael Poulson kept the near-capacity crowd engaged with his charm and banter, including a short little taste of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, which served as an intro to “Sad Man’s Tongue”. I’ve seen Volbeat on multiple occasions over the years, and this stage set was the largest multimedia presentation to date, featuring several large video screens throughout the stage as backdrops. This band never fails to bring a high-energy performance and judging from the crowd response, they succeeded once again in giving Kansas City exactly what it needed.
Swedish band Ghost have been delivering their blend of heavy metal and on-stage theatrics all around the world since they formed in 2008. Performing for a nearly full venue, Ghost’s Papa Emeritus IV and his ever-increasing number of Nameless Ghouls took the stage amidst theatrical smoke and the scent of incense, kicking off their set with “Kaisarion”, a new track off their upcoming fifth studio album, Impera, due to be released on March 11, 2022. Crowd favorite “Rats”, followed by the chunky bass-driven “From the Pinnacle to the Pit”, is greeted with cheers from the audience.
Gone are the papal vestments from previous incarnations, this Papa Emeritus IV is quick to engage in witty banter with the crowd in between songs. A quick bluesy guitar solo duel between two of the Nameless Ghouls sets the stage for “Cirice”, the hit single from 2015’s Meliora that propelled Ghost into the spotlight. It may be one of my favorites, and judging from the crowd sing-along, I wasn’t the only one who loved this tune! Toward the end of Ghost’s set, we were treated to a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, while “Dance Macabre” and “Square Hammer” closed out a well-rounded set of new and classic Ghost tracks.
Ghost always deliver a live performance that captivates the audience and elevates the music to an unholy level, providing the fans with a visual spectacle that can only be appreciated first-hand.
You can still catch the few remaining dates of the tour with Ghost, Volbeat, and their special guests Twin Temple. Tickets are available here.
GHOST & VOLBEAT COHEADLINE TOUR DATES:
Tue, Jan 25, 2022 – Reno, NV – Reno Events Center
Thu, Jan 27, 2022 – Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena
Fri, Jan 28, 2022 – Nampa, ID – Ford Idaho Center Arena
Sat, Jan 29, 2022 – Portland, OR – Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Mon, Jan 31, 2022 – West Valley City, UT – Maverik Center
Wed, Feb 02, 2022 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena
Fri, Feb 04, 2022 – Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
Sat, Feb 05, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
Mon, Feb 07, 2022 – Columbus, OH – Nationwide Arena
Tue, Feb 08, 2022 – Hershey, PA – GIANT Center
Thu, Feb 10, 2022 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Fri, Feb 11, 2022 – Worcester, MA – DCU Center
Sat, Feb 12, 2022 – Camden, NJ – BB&T Pavilion
Mon, Feb 14, 2022 – Pittsburgh, PA – Petersen Events Center
Tue, Feb 15, 2022 – Toledo, OH – Huntington Center
Wed, Feb 16, 2022 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
Fri, Feb 18, 2022 – Chicago, IL – Allstate Arena
Sat, Feb 19, 2022 – Cincinnati, OH – Heritage Bank Center
Sun, Feb 20, 2022 – Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum
Mon, Feb 21, 2022 – St. Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena
Wed, Feb 23, 2022 – Independence, MO – Cable Dahmer Arena
Fri, Feb 25, 2022 – Houston, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land
Sat, Feb 26, 2022 – Dallas, TX – Fair Park Coliseum
Mon, Feb 28, 2022 – El Paso, TX – Don Haskins Center
Tue, Mar 01, 2022 – Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center
Thu, Mar 03, 2022 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center