Our Opening Thoughts
Going into the night we knew it was going to be a hell of a show, but Ghost certainly set a new precedent for what a rock show is during the band’s stop in Columbus on the night of Mother’s Day.
With five days left until Rock On The Range, hard rock and metal were certainly on the minds of the Columbus faithful. In my entire life growing up in Columbus, I had never seen a line so long to get into Express LIVE. The line went all the way up Brodbelt Lane and snaked through the parking lot.
Even for Rock On The Range’s pre-show starring Stone Sour on the Thursday before the festival last year, I had never seen the line to get in that long. I legitimately concerned about getting into the venue at all. So, even before we entered the venue, I knew it was going to be a show we wouldn’t forget!
Before The Show
As we entered Express LIVE!, we took a quick glance at the merch table, which was to the left as soon as you entered the doors. We didn’t go straight to the merch table, as we wanted to get a great view of the show and that we did!
We were able to make it to the far left side of the stage for a great view of the set and the entire band. Since Casey is pretty short, this is always our go-to spot at Express LIVE! for any concert in which we attend there and cannot get into the pit.
Ghost brought a good amount of band merchandise including about 5-6 t-shirts (started at $40), two hoodies, a limited edition Swedish pressing of the band’s recently release live album, Ceremony, and Devotion, on a clear yellow vinyl record, patches, buttons, pins, and a lithograph of The Cardinal.
Once the choir music faded out and the house lights went dark, the show was ready to go and the Ghouls were waiting for the arrival of Cardinal Copia, the “new” frontman of Ghost. As the curtains receded into the sides of the stage, the band jumped right into “Rats,” the first single from Ghost’s new album, Prequelle.
From there, the band jumped into their collection of songs well-known tracks from Meliora including “Absolution,” “Devil Church,” “Deus in Absentia,” and their Grammy Award-winning song, “Circe.”
During the first act, Ghost also performed songs from their debut album, Opus Eponymous, including “Ritual,” “Con Clavi Con Dio,” and “Stand By Him.” The band also performed some songs from their sophomore release, Infestissumam, including “Per Aspera ad Inferi” and “Jigolo Har Megiddo.”
After a 15-minute intermission, the band took to the church-like stage once again for the second set of hard rock numbers, many of which were the band’s best songs including five more songs from Meliora — the album’s opening number, “Spirit,” the bass guitar-heavy tune, “From the Pinnacle to the Pit,” the album’s spiritual ballad, “He Is,” and the guitar-driven track, “Mummy Dust.” The band finished their second act with the fan-favorite track, “Square Hammer.”
My Final Thoughts
Overall, I am very willing to say Ghost is up in the top five best live shows I’ve ever been to. Tobias Forge’s distinct stage presence and the amazing musicianship of his band of Ghouls came together to create a show that I will remember for a long time.
Especially since there is not a pre-festival concert for Rock On The Range this year, this was the perfect way to kick off our 2018 concert season. Every aspect of the show was perfected and Ghost showed no signs of slowing down. I think it’s safe to say, Ghost will be a festival headliner sooner than later, and I could seriously see them playing arena shows down the line.
If you ever get to see Ghost in a small venue like the inside of Express LIVE!, go see them. It’s a show like none other!
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