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GHOST @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater - Tinley Park, IL (06.15.17)

Written  Saturday, 24 June 2017 by 

"Their Chicagoland performance was nothing short of spectacular and firmly solidified in the minds of all who attended their show why GHOST currently reign's supreme atop the alter of all things metal."

Opening for IRON MAIDEN is an honor an a privilege, and most bands tapped for this role are accomplished musicians at the top of their game.  Bands such as DREAM THEATER and AVENGED SEVENFOLD are recent members to this exclusive club, and both have noted success all around the world.  GHOST is no exception to this rule and have checked off all the boxes required as opener for IRON MAIDEN on the 2nd leg of their Book of Souls World Tour.  In addition to their meteoric rise in popularity (including a Grammy in 2016 for Best Metal Performance, Cirice), GHOST may be one of the most provocative bands on the planet today.  Their overtly Satanic themes have placed them firmly in the cross-hairs of many religious organizations worldwide, and this added controversy has fueled an already rabid appetite for this band. Whether you an avid follower of the band or despise them to no end, it’s clear that GHOST has taken the world by storm with catchy lyrics, solid vocals, and musicianship that is second to none. Toss in the recent controversy regarding the firing (and rehiring) of the entire band - aka as the Nameless Ghouls, and you you have quite the story to tell.  Those in attendance for Thursday's performance at the amazing Hollywood Casino Amphitheater got a chance to witness the spectacle firsthand that so many have been raving about over the past few years – GHOST.

Prior to the show, my biggest question was whether or not the average IRON MAIDEN fanatic would accept GHOST.  Although similar in some respects, there are some sharp contrasts to their musical sound and theatrical style that all fans may be able to appreciate.  As a music aficionado, I love that contrast but was not sure everyone would.  I was surprised that over a quarter of the fans in the pit were decked out in GHOST shirts and some of the hard core fans came dressed in full costume (including Papal Mitre - also known as the Pope's big hat).  After a what seemed like an eternity waiting in the hot and humid pit, lights finally dimmed and Gregorio Allegri's "Masked Ball" filled the amphitheater with a beautiful prelude that seemed to calm the rapid crowd. Then, as if ascending from hell itself, Papa Emeritus III appeared center stage with Nameless Ghouls surrounding him on all sides.  The evening’s services were now underway and the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater was rocking to GHOST’s latest smash, “Square Hammer”. 

Over the next hour or so, concert goers of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds got a chance to rock together to 8 GHOST masterpieces spanning their entire discography including tracks from Opus Eponymous (2010), Infestissumam (2013), Meliora (2015), and current EP Popestar (2016).  Fan favorites included “From the Pinnacle to the Pit" and  “Cirice”, while I gravitated towards lesser known tracks like “Ritual" and “Year Zero”.    During an all-out assault of one of my favorite GHOST tracks, “Mummy Dust”, it was clear that Maiden fans were won over by Papa and the Ghouls as energy levels jumped to "11" for the remainder of the show. “Monstrance Clock” wrapped up an incredible set and one would have never guessed that this was an entirely new set of Nameless Ghouls based on the amazing chemistry they displayed on stage Thursday evening.  Whether you are new to the GHOST coven or have been following them since they started off on their diabolical journey in 2008, there was something for everyone at Thursday evening’s show.

Ghost continues to challenge the status quo of the current metal scene with their unique sound, haunting imagery, and controversial messages.  Their rise in popularity over the past few years should be no surprise to those who have been following them over the years, and is a testament to how talented this band truly is.  Strip away all of ones’ preconceived notions about the band and you’ll easily see that GHOST is one of the most talented and innovative bands touring the globe today.  And if you don’t take my word for it, maybe their numerous top-ten, sold-out shows, or that Grammy might convince you otherwise.  Regardless, there is no doubt in my mind that GHOST is the real-deal and will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.  Their Chicagoland performance was nothing short of spectacular and firmly solidified in the minds of all who attended their show why GHOST currently reign's supreme atop the alter of all things metal. IRON MAIDEN couldn't have made a better choice for their opener, and their performance took the crowd to a whole new level as Maiden took the stage later that evening.

GHOST is currently trekking across America in support of IRON MAIDEN's 2017 Book of Souls Tour.Please click HERE for more information and to buy your tickets now.  Top to bottom, this was by far my favorite show of 2017 to date and I assure you that you'll walk away feeling the same way too.  It was simply a bucket-list performance for the ages!!

Until next time - Stay Frosty and Rock On!  

 

Setlist:

  • "Masked Ball" (Recording by Gregorio Allegri)

  • "Square Hammer"

  • "From the Pinnacle to the Pit"

  • "Ritual"

  • "Cirice"

  • "Year Zero"

  • "Absolution"

  • "Mummy Dust"

  • "Monstrance Clock"

Matthew Belter

Website: iceboxphoto.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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