The sun was shining bright and the day was overly muggy. Storms dropping rain drops the size of grapes had been on and off all day, creating a humid environment. This weather didn’t stop the people from lining up outside the Tucson Convention Center. Some of the biggest ghouls had painted their face and dawned pieces that played homage to nuns to match that of none other than Ghost’s Papa Emeritus IV.
The first band set to take the stage was Canada’s own Spiritbox. Spiritbox is comprised of Courtney LaPlante – vocals, Mike Stringer – guitar, Zev Rosenberg– drums and their touring member Josh Gilbert-bass. Spiritbox was formed in 2017 but the husband and wife duo Stringer and LaPlante. Their heavy hitting sound mixed with LaPlante’s delicate and even heavy sounding screams create a nice flow that captivated everyone. Seeing this band for the first time would shock many who have never looked them up because LaPlante’s guttural vocals can keep up with any man. As they came into the stage the crowd yelled. They began their set with “Circle With Me”.
As they started their second song everyone began to yell and call out in joy. As soon as the first word from LaPlante’s left her mouth everyone began to join in; they were singing ” Hurt You”. Spiritbox never disappoints, their shoes are always fun and full of energy. LaPlante was moving all over the stage, jumping, singing and dancing. Halfway through the set LaPlante asked if anyone was ready for a new song. They played “Rotoscope” and “Hysteria” off their Rotoscope-single.
The second band to take to the stage was Mastodon. This band formed in 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia. This prog metal band knew how to entertain the audience. From their amazing guitar riffs to their great drum sets. What made this band fun to watch was that one of the vocalists was the drummer! Not many bands utilize the drummers as vocalists. The bands line up is Brann Dailor – drums/ percussion, Brent – lead guitar/backing, Bill – rhythm guitar/backing vocals, Troy – bass/keyboards.
This bands lineup has remained the same since they first came together and created Mastodon. Their set included many guitar solos. The first song they performed was “Pain with an Anchor”. The crowd enjoyed the energy the band brought to the stage. Kicks, guitar solos and lots of headbanging. They ended their set with “Mother Puncher”.
The stage hands ascended to the stage, quickly and efficiently putting everything together. The stage began to look like the inside of a church. It was magnificent. In a matter of mere minutes, everything was complete and a giant white curtain was hung from the ceiling and spanned across the whole stage, covering the set up. The house lights dimmed and all the ghouls in the audience began to scream. Then a light behind there curtain came on a figure could be seen, hand extended touching the curtain. All of a sudden, the curtain dropped and the ghouls of Ghost came out. The first song to play was “Kaisasion”.
The ghouls moved and jumped all over the stage. Everyone was enthralled in their performance. Papa Emeritus IV, belted his heart out into every song. After playing their first three songs, Papa took to the microphone and acknowledged the crowd. A couple more songs played and then they started to play “Cirice”. The moment that song began to play, the whole crowd began to sing, every word, line for line.
Ghost was formed in Linköping, Sweden in 2006. The Nameless Ghouls’ identities remain anonymous to this day but each one represents a cardinal element. This can be seen embroidered on their unform. This creates a fun mystery to this Grammy award winning band. Ghost performed many hits, including “Call Me Little Sunshine”, “Year Zero”, and “Mary on The Cross”.
There were many fun surprises throughout the set from Papa’s many outfit changes to the dueling ghouls on guitar. One surprise was truly magical. A clear box was brought to the stage where stage crews performed the revival of an older Papa. He was brought back to life and graced the audience with a saxophone solo.
He eventually gave out and was wheeled off the stage in his box. The best surprise of the night happened during their last three songs. During “Mummy Dust” gold confetti and giant custom 666 bills were shot out of cannons, “Dance Macabre” was the next song and rainbow confetti was then shot into the air. The last song of the night was “Square Hammer”, during this performance, a waterfall of embers was shot behind Papa, creating a fire waterfall effect. This was truly a theatrical performance that captivated everyone.