Photos and words by Andy Jillson 

Ghost, Sweden’s hardest-rocking band, brought its unique sound and style to the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., earlier this week.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect walking into the photo pit for Ghost’s performance, and I must admit I was somewhat nervous, but my expectations were far exceeded. This is a must-see musical event for all fans of hard rock and heavy metal.

Ghost bum-rushed the stage at the Giant Center following a massive curtain drop and an extremely loud cannon blast and flash of bright lights. The band of musical ghouls wasted no time giving the arena full of diehard fans what they came for. The energy and frenzied excitement was highly contagious. I was equally hypnotized by Ghost’s performance as I was by the crowd’s reaction.

The band started off its set with the songs “Kaisarion,” “Rats,” “From the Pinnacle to the Pit” and “Mary on a Cross.” The next couple songs are a blur due to being escorted between the photo pit and the press area. Upon my return to the crowd, I stood in my spot, mesmerized by the remainder of Ghost’s performance.

The stage looks like an old satanic temple of sorts. The setting actually reminded me of an abandoned Catholic church that had been redesigned for the dark lord. The band members look like something out of a nightmare. You can’t help but stare at them. Watch the video for the latest single, “Call Me Little Sunshine,” on YouTube.

Other musical highlights were performances of “Cirice,” “Hunter’s Moon,” “Year Zero” and “Mummy Dust.” There were plenty of other great songs in the setlist accompanied by jaw-dropping metal theatrics. I would urge all readers to catch this band on tour if possible. This show is awesome, even for those who generally don’t like satanic rock music.

For those who are unaware, Ghost is a rock band from Linköping, Sweden, formed in 2006. The band is led by Tobias Forge under the moniker Papa Emeritus IV (aka Papa Emeritus I, II and III and Cardinal Copia), accompanied by a full band, A Group of Nameless Ghouls, who all wear costumes and masks. In this case they were all wearing individually tailored gas masks. Quite a stunning look.

Ghost released its debut album, “Opus Eponymous,” in 2010 and has since expanded its discography to include four full-length records, including, most recently, 2018’s “Prequelle.” Ghost is set to release its fifth studio album, “Impera,” on March 11.

The band will tour the UK on the European leg of its “Imperatour” in April following its co-headline tour across North America with Volbeat.

As I said I wasn’t sure what to expect walking into this show, but my expectations were definitely far exceeded. Long story short, I was pleasantly surprised and quickly put at ease by Ghost’s progressive music, psychedelic stage show, and blatantly satanic overtones. Yes, those are things that put me at ease. Also…their fans kick ass!

All images and words copyright and courtesy of Andy Jillson.

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