Photos and Review by Jeff Lasich
On this night of ritual. After a couple years away, Ghost returned to the Pittsburgh area on Valentine’s Day to play a co-headlining show with Volbeat at the Petersen Event Center. The show was opened by the satanic doo-wop styling’s of LA’s Twin Temple. When I first heard them a few years ago, my initial thought was I would love to see them tour with Ghost. The husband and wife duo, along with a backing band hit the stage hailing satan while asking to burn down racism, sexism and ignorance. Filled with style and attitude, Twin Temple stands out from a lot of other bands. They played a fairly short set to a very receptive crowd.
Next up was Denmark’s Volbeat. From the first note, you could tell these guys were professionals and have been playing for a long time. This was my first time seeing them. They recently released a new record, Servant of the Mind, and played several songs from it. They are a well-oiled machine mixed with rock and roll, metal and some rockabilly influences. The band looked like they were having a great time on stage. Their light and videos gave their set a big time feel to it. After playing a 16 song set for well over an hour, they called it a night.
As the stage hands were setting up for Ghost, the smell of incense started to fill the arena. A giant curtain hung over the stage, with the silhouette of of one of the nameless ghouls playing the opening to Kaisarion, one of the tracks on Ghost’s upcoming Impera album. Papa Emeritus IV emerged from the shadows to the roar of the crowd. The time off did not hinder the band at all. They were as tight as I’ve ever seen them. At times, Papa would have to let them know their place. He is the leader. Both Papa and the Nameless Ghouls have a new look this time around. The stage setup was very elaborate, making a Ghost set appealing to both the eyes and ears. They played a solid mix of songs throughout their entire catalog. One of the highlights was the crowd favorite “Year Zero.” The stage was covered in smoke, red lights and a lot of fire. Ghost also did their cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, “Ritual,” “Cirice” and “Dance Macabre.” As usual, the fans were showered with Papa bucks during “Mummy Dust.” The band ended the night with “Square Hammer.” I’m sure the band will tour heavy for the new record and I’m already looking forward to their return.