Review: Kelly Besaw
Photos: Chris Besaw
Relic Photos: Jacob Besaw
Ghost made a triumphant return to Syracuse on October 22 as part of their “The Ultimate Tour Named Death” circuit. Alternative rock band Nothing More opened the show.
Ghost, with Cardinal Copia at the helm, treated a packed crowd at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena to an over two-hour musical, theatrical masterpiece. Everything from the stage setup, a massive white marble-look staircase, stained glass windows and blue and red alternating lighting with spotlights mixed in, to the multiple costume changes and the humorous showdown between the ghouls set the tone for an evening of fun, ritualist rock music.
This was my first time seeing Ghost. Both my husband and son have seen the band before and raved about the shows. My very lucky son has met Cardinal Copia twice, including right before the show. He loves the Cardinal and the music. My expectations were high as the band took the stage. It did not take long for Cardinal Copia and his band of nameless Ghouls to win me over. They started out with “Ashes” followed by the catchy hit “Rats.” Cardinal Copia has such a strong stage presence. It is mesmerizing.
The ghouls can truly play! The sound they produced and the entertaining interludes they created while Cardinal stepped offstage for a costume change kept the crowd on their feet.
The Cardinal paused to ask, “How are you doing Syracuse?” several times between songs. Ghost showcased their musical talent and Cardinal Copia’s singing abilities in “Cirice” and “Zombie Queen.” Cardinal Copia has a magnificent voice. It was richer and more haunting hearing it live. My son had an opportunity at the meet and greet to ask Cardinal Copia why he chose music and singing for his career. The Cardinal’s answer was simply, “I love singing so that is what I wanted to do. It’s kind of like if you love football, you want to play football.” Makes sense.
I loved Ghost’s live version of “He Is.” It was intensely haunting. Pretty soon, it was time for things to “get heavy.” Cardinal Copia asked Syracuse if they were, “ready for their asses to wobble and their taints to tickle?” The band tore into “Mummy Dust.” The song lived up to its hype. It was ass-wobbling heavy. The song ended with a massive blast of confetti and Papa Nihil 666 dollar bills showering the crowd.
Cardinal Copia described Ghost’s second time playing Syracuse as a “second date.” He said, “We have to take things slow and maybe eventually we will get to second base.” “Ah Syracuse, aren’t we going to get to second base?” I would say Ghost “made it to second base” by ending their set with three mega-hits,) “Kiss The Goat,” “Dance Macabre” and “Square Hammer.” The nameless Ghouls threw guitar pics and drumsticks into the crowd while Cardinal Copia blew kisses and bowed. The ghouls exited the stage leaving the Cardinal who took center stage and bowed as the curtain fell.
I was thoroughly impressed and cannot wait to see Ghost again. Please enjoy the photos from the show.