Photos and Review by Jeff Lasich
Tonight we are summoned for a divine cause. Those words resounded in my head as I drove to the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio on September 20, 2022. On this night, Spiritbox, Mastodon and Ghost would wrap up summer with an outstanding show to an almost sellout crowd.
Starting the night was Canada’s Spiritbox. They are a metal band that aren’t afraid to add some electronic elements to their sound. The band is supporting their first full-length, “Eternal Blue.” Singer’s Courtney LaPlante’s range from soft, clean vocals to guttural screams. As openers, they only got to play a short set, including Holy Roller and Hurt You to a fairly receptive crowd.
Next up was Atlanta crushers, Mastodon. Over the 20 plus years they’ve been a band, they’ve acquired a sizeable fanbase and have won several music awards. On this night, drummer Brann Dailor’s mother made the trip in to watch her son play. They opened with Pain with an Anchor, on which Dailor does vocals. They played a dark, noisy set, with plenty of lasers as well. Playing several songs from their most recent record, “Hushed and Grim” seemed like a breath of fresh air to the crowd. They also played older songs like The Czar, Mother Puncher and Megalodon.
Finishing the night was the band everyone came to see, Ghost. After the curtain dropped and Papa Emeritus emerged from the shadows, I could hear the crowd shriek and cheer as if they were seeing the Beatles in the 60s. Opening with Kaisarion, Papa worked all angles of the stage, as well as the crowd. At this point in his career, he really is like a religious figure. He commands the crowd, sometimes just by moving his hand and they do it. The humor is not lost in their sets either. I’ve seen Ghost numerous times over the last 10 plus years and this show was by far the darkest I’ve seen. The stage show is usually full of bright, flashing lights. Tonight the band pumped so much fog onto the stage and into the crowd, there was indeed a secular haze (pardon the pun.) It made for a different, more intense show. Papa had a few costume and hat changes through the night. Prior to the encore, the band ended with crowd favorite, Year Zero. This is by far my favorite song to seen performed live. The set consisted a solid mix of all their records, closing out the night with Square Hammer. If for some reason you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade and haven’t had the chance to see Ghost live, do yourself a favor and do it. They tour non-stop, so there is no reason not to see them.