PHOTOGRAPHED FOR EXCLAIM!.CA
Halloween arrived early this year in Calgary, as Sweden's infamous, anonymous, satanic musical sensation, Ghost, graced the stage at MacEwan Hall to a packed Tuesday night crowd. Numerous fans could be seen wearing their best Ghost-inspired costumes, many faces were painted like skulls in honour of the band's only visage.
As church-like choir and organ music filled the room, five of the six anonymous band members each took to their place at their instrument onstage, silhouetted against thick fog, with beams of purple and red lighting shining upon them, creating an eerie mood for concertgoers. As the lights began to settle, the band immediately boomed into their 15-song set with "Square Hammer," resulting in a deafening eruption of joyous cheers from the audience. Then, they amplified as the staple figure, and frontman of the band, Papa Emeritus III, appeared front and centre in full mock pope-attire and began to unleash his hauntingly beautiful voice upon the crowd.
As the night progressed, the anonymous sextet clergy had their loyal fans greedily eating out of the palms of their hands as they sang along loudly to each song. Many fan favourites dominated the setlist: "From the Pinnacle to the Pit," "Secular Haze," "Body and Blood" and "Year Zero" all satisfied the many long-time fans.
With a quick wardrobe change from Satanic pope to maestro, Papa Emeritus III began to conduct the audience with a wave of his hands, and in return, voices echoed throughout the Hall, repeating the chorus to hit song "Cirice" in unison, giving the song a truly spooky vibe. Then, millions of pieces of metallic confetti and dollar bills with Papa's face on them rained from the air as the band glided into "Mummy Dust."
Ending the night on a strong note with "Monstrance Clock," the singing voices of Ghost's audience still echoed throughout the room, as the choral ending to the band's big rock'n'roll finish began to fade out, leaving only the voices of the concertgoers to fill the silence, putting the cherry on top of this night of ritual and worship.