Ghost @ The Grammy Museum: Clive Davis Theater – 05/01/2018
Swedish rockers Ghost are out promoting their new album Prequelle to be released on June 1 and as part of that promotion made a stop at The Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on Tuesday night May 1 in Los Angeles for an exclusive and intimate event that included an acoustic performance, hearing the new album played over the theater PA in its entirety and a discussion/Q & A with Ghost vocalist Tobias Forge.
About 200 fans made their way into the theater at 7:00pm, each having to check their cell phone as there was a strict no photo/video policy (even for media in attendance). The no cell phone policy was actually nice as it was very pleasant to watch a live event with no phones in the air blocking your view. Promptly at 7:30pm Ghost was introduced and three Nameless Ghouls with acoustic guitars led by Cardinal Copia took the stage and played three songs that included “Rats”, “Cirice” and “Jigolo Har Megiddo”. The crowd was encouraged to sing along and yell RATS during the chorus each time it came up which all did with much enthusiasm.
Cardinal Copia spent time speaking with the crowd in between songs and even though his persona has changed (from Papa Emeritus to Cardinal Copia) the sense of humor remains as he joked that he was not wearing anything under his robe (which resulted in lots of female applause) and introduced “Jigolo Har Megiddo” as a song about “getting down” and he asked the LA fans if they liked to get down and encouraged them to do so after the show even though it was a Tuesday night.
After the three songs the band left the stage, and a large movie screen dropped on stage and a video played showing how Cardinal Copia became the new singer in place of Papa Emeritus III. The video also showed the demise of Papa Emeritus I, II and III with their corpses in a morgue then being shipped off in a truck. A graphic of the new album cover was then displayed and the fans were treated to an exclusive playing of the new Ghost album Prequelle from start to finish. The album is what you would expect as an evolution from Ghost without them re-writing what they have already done. The song titles were not shown or announced but in addition to “Rats” there are a couple of additional faster paced rockers along with some mid-tempo and slower songs all including guitar driven leads , thick bass lines and the haunting keyboards/synthesizers we are all familiar with. Also there was an instrumental song that included all the elements listed above as well as a saxophone solo at the end.
After the album completed, the lights came on and Tobias Forge was introduced and came out and sat center stage totally unmasked while a moderator asked questions to generate discussion. Forge talked about the theme of the new record being about mortality and survival in pre-apocalyptic, dark times as well as his approach to song-writing which he stated he always has the live performance in mind when writing.
Forge also stated (to no surprise) that KISS was one of his major influences musically and theatrically as well as Alice Cooper. In 2016 Ghost won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for their song “Cirice”, when asked what that meant to him, Forge responded that after being a part time slacker as a musician before Ghost, it was a way to validate himself as an artist/songwriter and it was something to bring home to Mom to show your accomplishment.
For those 200 fans in attendance – they had the opportunity to witness an epic event and it is great to see a band as big as Ghost has become to take the time to do an intimate event for their fans. It was also a treat to see Tobias Forge totally unmasked and out of character speaking about the band.
Ghosts month long “Rats on the Road” US tour begins on Saturday May 5 in Riverside, CA and they just announced a headline show at The Forum in Los Angeles on November 16. For all the latest Ghost news and tour dates click here.
Be sure to pick up the new Ghost album Prequelle on June 1.