Just a few weeks before releasing their highly anticipated new album Impera, Ghost blessed the Bordertown El Paso with their “Pre-Impera” show. The band was accompanied by the satanic doo-wop group Twin Temple and danish rockers Volbeat. As the masses gathered outside, you were able to see every age range, people with full Ghost make-up and even some rather sinful-looking nuns. It was the perfect crowd for a rather satanic night.
Before we dig in to the concert, here are a few fun facts about the Ghost’s history in El Paso. The band once performed at a little venue called Tricky Falls. For many locals, it was the CBGBs of the borderland. Sadly, the venue is no more. You might wonder, what happened with the venue, maybe it turned into a restaurant or shop? Nope, it is actually now being remodeled into a church. It’s almost comical. Monday’s venue is the local University’s hall, where thousands of students graduate every year. What better place to perform some satanic rituals?
The start of the excellent evening was made by Twin Temple. They went on stage and started off performing a quite romantic satanic ritual. If there was ever a perfect start to a night of metal, that might be it. Twin Temple’s set included their newest song “Let’s Have A Satanic Orgy,” which the band performed in English, even though their Spanish version of the song would have fit perfectly since El Paso is predominately Hispanic. With their elegant outfits and way of interacting with the fans, this wife and husband duo definitely won over some hearts that night. When Alexandra James threw in one or two Spanish words, the crowd seemed to really appreciate it and responded with loud cheers. That night, we all truly have been part of Twin Temple’s satanic orgy. Sadly, the set ran rather short and it left the crowd yearning for more.
After a brief intermission to buy overpriced beer and micheladas (if you don’t know what that is, check it out, it’s basically a drink you can eat), Volbeat entered the stage. Now, the Danes really rocked the house down and played a bunch of their classic hit singles, but it seemed to lack something. People went ahead and sat down (if they had a seat) in the middle of the set. The band had fun on stage but there wasn’t as much interaction with the audience. The stage was filled mainly with screens, which is also fine, but it was less romantic than Twin Temple’s setup and less dramatic than Ghost’s.
Eagled-eyed fans, could spot the legendary streets of Birmingham from the Gangster drama show Peaky Blinders on the screens, though. That was a nice touch since Volbeat is featured on the amazing soundtrack of the show. After all, the band played quite a long set, but maybe giving a few extra minutes to Twin Temple wouldn’t have hurt.
Now to the main act, Ghost. If you have ever been to any metal concert, you know between sets we usually get blasted with some upbeat ‘80s music and the people love it. This was not the case here. The music between Volbeat and Ghost was very eerie vocals, almost like in a very old and creepy church. It was the perfect way to set the mood for the band. While waiting, fans could spot the stage being set up in a very dramatic way, making it look like an old church cemetery.
Once the stage was set up, the performance began, and what a performance it was. There is a certain way to create an unforgettable experience for your fans, and Ghost definitely knows how to do that. The masks and uniforms of the Nameless Ghouls were featured, as well as the elaborated costumes of Papa Emeritus. Of course, Papa Emeritus is the main character on stage, but what makes his performance so above-average is the space he leaves for his ghouls to shine. They might be identical looking but they all have their own personality and the fans can see and feel that. Between little guitar battles or throwing picks into the crowd, there wasn’t a moment in time the crowd wasn’t paying attention to the stage. It was so captivating, you might have wanted to film the entire show, but then, come on, enjoy the moment!
During the show, Ghost played some of their more people-pleasing songs like, “Mary On A Cross,” their Halloween-Soundtrack “Hunter’s Moon,” “Year Zero,” “Faith” and of course “Square Hammer” and “Dance Macabre.” The setlist also included their cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” which was featured on the Metallica Black List album last year.
Papa Emeritus is a stellar performer and the charismatic frontman was able to put a spell on the crowd on Monday, this is for sure. The new album really can’t come fast enough.
Ghost Set List:
- From the Pinnacle to the Pit
- Mary on a Cross
- Devil Church
- Hunter’s Moon
- Year Zero
- Mummy Dust
- Kiss the Go-Goat
- Enter Sandman (Metallica cover)
- Dance Macabre
- Square Hammer