Ghost’s ‘Ultimate Tour Named Death’ finally rolled into Dublin on Wednesday night (20th November 2019), bringing with it a gothic metal spectacle unlike any other. Marking the band’s first ever headline show in Ireland, the set at the 3Arena proved just why the Swedish outfit are on the rise to becoming one of the biggest acts in the genre.
Bringing a production on a devastatingly grand a scale, and fitting of mastermind Tobias Forge’s ambition, the ghouls’ cathedral-like stage setting was nothing short of mesmerising, and the perfect shop window for which to display their shock horror sounds.
Opening with ‘Rats’, the lead single from 2017’s mainstream-busting ‘Prequel’, it was quickly followed up with ‘Absolution’, setting the scene for what would follow; what The Guardian recently referred to as a “magnificent metal pantomime”.
Greeting the crowd, ringleader Cardinal Copia said; “Well good evening Ireland. How the heck are you doing? It’s wonderful to see you here tonight”.
Going on to acknowledge the band’s absence from these shores (save for an appearance opening for Metallica at the Slane event earlier this year), Tobias’ alter-ego conceded; “it almost pains me to say it's technically only our first time meeting", before hilariously adding; “We briefly encountered this summer. It was a short quickie, but it was wonderful”.
With bouts of humour and innuendo interjected throughout, the show never took itself too seriously, with the Cardinal gyrating, teasing, and poking fun at the crowd throughout, with the deity even arriving on stage at one point riding a creaky old antique bicycle.
The various Nameless Ghouls also had their time to shine, with an entertaining guitar-off between the lead players proving not only extremely entertaining, but giving the main man time for a quick costume change. With the soloing building to a climax, the players nod to local hero Phil Lynott with a few bars from Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ went down a storm, raising the roof on the Dublin venue.
With disco stops, epic balladeering and even a sax and keytar solo following, the show’s impeccable pacing made for a near perfect display.
With the evening nearing an end, Copia acknowledged the significance of the “first date”, saying; “We've had a bombastic start on our relationship, but its early days yet”, before showering the crowd with Ghost dollar bills during the anatomy-tickling ‘Mummy Dust’.
Closing with the bombastic trio of ‘Kiss the Go-Goat’, ‘Dance Macabre’ and ‘Square Hammer’, the singer signed off saying; “Boys and girls in Dublin, Ireland, we did it again! Give yourselves a round of applause for being so fucking special!”
With a promise to return, the band signed off with the Cardinal adding; “Now we've been here, let's make a habit of it coming back, because you are truly magnificent”.
Ghost’s European ‘Ultimate Tour Named Death’ continues on Friday 22nd November, when the band arrive in London for a show at Wembley’s SSE Arena. For a full list of forthcoming dates, see below.
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Check out our gallery from the show below. All photos by Darren McLoughlin.
Ghost 2019 European Dates.:
Fri 22 November London (UK) – Wembley SSE Arena
Sat 23 November Leeds (UK) – Arena
Sat 30 November Katowice (Poland) – Spodek
Sun 01 December Prague (Czech Republic) – Universum
Tue 03 December Budapest (Hungary) – BSA
Thu 05 December Mantova (Italy) – PalaBam
Fri 06 December Zurich (Switzerland) – Halle 622
Sun 08 December Barcelona (Spain) – St. Jordi
Tue 10 December Lisbon (Portugal) – Sala Tejo
Wed 11 December Madrid (Spain) – Vistalegre
Fri 13 December Strasbourg (France) – Zenith
Tue 17 December Luxembourg (Luxembourg) – Rockhal
Wed 18 December Nantes (France) – Zenith
Thu 19 December Toulouse (France) – Zenith