I’m going to go ahead and say it… I was a casual Ghost fan. Yes, that’s right, I had heard them on the radio, and really loved what I heard, but I never took the initiative to look into them more. As a single mom, it’s too easy to get complacent with my music, know I like a song by a band and then just keep listening to that one song and every other song that I’ve listened to for years. And despite the legal issues Papa Emeritus III fairly recently faced, I felt the need to go see them when I found out they were touring. Luckily, I scored a $20 ticket during the Live Nation sale, and did take the time to listen to them here and there, including the entire hour and a half drive to the show.
Let me give you some advice… if you are going to see a show in Indianapolis, plan to be there at least an hour before the doors open, because finding parking is a major pain. However, I was super pleased with the venue, Old National Centre. There were metal detectors at the doors, but they got everyone through quickly, and all of the staff were super nice and helpful, which I appreciate very much. The show itself was in the Egyptian Room, which was standing room only, aside from the VIP seating on either side, with the soundboard in the center of the decently sized room.
I missed just a bit of the opening band, Royal Thunder. But I’m glad I didn’t miss all of their set, because they were fantastic! Mlny Parsonz has a voice that takes absolute control and is a strong presence in and of itself. Her vocals are like a mix of Janis Joplin, Joan Jett, and Blackie Lawless. If you haven’t heard them yet, I highly recommend you check them out.
My only complaint with Ghost was how long it took them to come out. We stood for what felt like ages listening to “Satanic Hymns to Fall Asleep to” but once they did come out, there was no stopping the excitement and energy. Every one of those Nameless Ghouls had so much energy and personality, even with their faces hidden. The guitarists and bassist were all over the stage, playing to the crowd, and just absolutely killing every note in cold blooded metal perfection.
I tried to compare Papa Emeritus III with David Draiman when explaining his stage presence to a friend, but that’s almost an insult if you don’t explain that Papa Emeritus has way more personality and charm than David Draiman. And that’s not to say that I don’t like David Draiman, because quite the opposite is actually true. But when I saw Disturbed, while their light show and pyrotechnics were impressive, Draiman didn’t really do much besides walk back and forth across the stage while he sang. You never found Papa Emeritus dancing like you would William Control or Rob Zombie, but he covered every inch of the stage and really did reach out and interact with the crowd and with his Nameless Ghouls.
Their first song was to a black background, with lots of smoke and lights, and Papa came out in what can only be described as an Anti-Pope outfit. The second song had the black curtain dropped, and we were instantly transported to a Satanic church with stained glass windows depicting the images of Lucifer himself, as well as Baphomet and a female whose name I will edit in here once I figure out who she was supposed to be.
Everything about their show was phenomenal. Visually everything was just stunning, from the lights to the background to the insane energy that the crowd just soaked up and sent straight back. Papa Emeritus III was funny and charming and maybe a little explicit, much to everyone’s delight. Even if you didn’t know the songs, you couldn’t help but get hyped and jump and clap.
Next time Ghost comes around, I’m going to try to get VIP tickets so I can meet these guys. And I will without a doubt not miss them on their next tour, because these guys are very much worth it to go see live.