This is the Ghost show that I was hoping to see last year.
Last year Ghost played to a sold out (probably oversold) Palace Theater in St. Paul. And while it was a cool opportunity to shoot them then for my first time, because of the packed like sardines sized crowd, I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The best spot I could find was way in the back, couldn’t go any further, on the steps up to the balcony. The sound was bad there and I could barely see anything. In hindsight, I should have went up to the balcony to see if I could get a seat.
This year though, Ghost upgraded venues in every possible way to downtown’s Armory. Armory is still my favorite venue in town. It’s big, I’ve been told capacity is around 8000, but it still feels pretty intimate all the way around. At least more so than a show at Target Center or Xcel would. The sound is always fantastic, and lighting is away top-tier. Always been one of my favorite places to photograph.
This time around I was able to find a perfect spot in the back, in this elevated standing floor area behind the merch tables, and it allows for a perfect vantage point to take in the whole show.
The band opened with “Ashes” and “Rats,” the openers for their newest album Prequelle, and they proved once again why “Rats” was one of my favorite songs of the year. It has such a classic metal sound to it, it’s so catchy, and oh boy that riff at the end. Still by far my favorite riff for that year. It so heavy and never ceases to make me bang my head.
The rest of the show was good, but not mindblowingly amazing. I guess I’m just not as much of a fan of Ghost as I thought I was, because in the middle-ish part of their set, I was getting a bit antsy and wanting them to get on with playing “Dance Macabre,” and “Square Peg.” I was also very tired and very hungry, which may more may not have affected my judgement a bit. But overall, if you were a fan of the band, you would have loved the night (or will love it if you’re still yet to see the tour). I absolutely adore the theatrics of the band. I love the stained glass backdrop, the Ghouls’ outfits and masks, and just the general satanic overtones of the band. It gives them another dimension that I wish other bands would do more of. As much as I love music for what it is, if you can have a well done visual aspect, you’re going to be something special.
This night’s show was by far a success, I just wish I could have connected with the music more, personally. My favorite moment of the night was seeing this little kid dressed up as Papa Emeritus III front row and being able to get his picture. That’s going to be a memory I’ll carry with me for a long time, and most likely the kid as well.