Ghost haunted the Taft Theatre Friday night, performing over 20 songs to a sold out and rabid crowd. “New” frontman Cardinal Copia brings a new level of energy to a group that is arguably already on the top of their game.
After the surprising demise of the past Papa Emeritus lineage (whose bodies were on display for those lucky enough to purchase the VIP experience), Cardinal Copia took leadership of Ghost and its nameless ghouls. It was a shocking change for many fans, but with the release of the hit single, “Rats” for their upcoming album, Prequelle and his amazing performance at the Taft, fans are beginning to embrace the Cardinal with open arms.
People were lined up and around the Taft Theater several HOURS before the venue even opened its doors. Many unlucky people trying to purchase tickets at the door were turned away only to find the show had been SOLD OUT.
Billed as An Evening with Ghost, there would be no opening act, just over two hours of the Cardinal Copia and his nameless gathered for a divine cause. Surprisingly, Copia started the evening looking slick in an all-black suit, much like his look in the “Rats” video compete with the moves and swagger of a rock god. The background of the set was adorned with a very church-like stained glass look complete with plenty of macabre imagery. The nameless ghouls were perched along various location throughout the set. With their featureless and emotionless masks that looked like gargoyles in the leering in the rafters.
Starting the show with “Rats”, the crowd was already singing along and jamming to the new single. After playing a few favorites and amping up the crowd even more, they played a new song, “Miasma,” with a surprise appearance by Papa Emeritus Zero on the saxophone.
After about an hour, the curtain fell, and the house lights came on for a brief 15-minute intermission. When the group returned, Cardinal Copia was dressed in his red cardinal robe complete with hat and the band played some of their heavier songs of the evening, “Mummy Dust”, “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” and the radio hit “Square Hammer.”
It has been interesting to watch this band evolve from a relatively unknown Swedish band with a clever gimmick to the rock n roll juggernaut they are becoming today. Their live performance is not to be missed. The stage show and musicianship is brilliant in person and is much more an “experience” as it is a concert. The Cardinal is a welcome addition to Ghost and I hope he stays with us a long time.