Ghost came to Southern California to play a sold-out concert at the Los Angeles Forum, marking the band’s first of two headline arena performances in the U.S. (The second date will be at New York’s Barclays Center on December 15th.) The current tour, dubbed “A Pale Tour Named Death,” is promoting Prequelle, Ghost’s fourth studio album released on June 1, 2018.
The Forum show was a two-parter: a 26-song exhibition of rock, lasting nearly three hours. With no support act, there was a singular focus that made it all the better. With its 18,000-person capacity, the Forum provided an apt platform for the Swedish rockers to showcase a full array of lights, smoke, and pyrotechnics on a big stage.
Front man Tobias Forge, in his current stage persona Cardinal Copia, was the consummate showman with great vocal ability, a charismatic stage presence, and proved to be quite humorous with his in-between-songs banter. With the Nameless Ghouls (a band of accomplished musicians handling guitars, bass, keyboards, background vocals, and drums), backing the Cardinal, it was an all-out rock show, vacillating between 70s hard rock and modern-day heavy metal. The two Nameless Ghoul guitarists dazzled the crowd with their talent, with a tone that permeated the Forum, elevating the audience’s enthusiasm.
With Act 1. Ghost had set the hook into their audience, then, in Act 2, they reeled them in. After its spooky prelude, “Spirit” blasted away any malaise or preoccupation the audience might have experienced over the 15-minute intermission. “From the Pinnacle to the Pit,” as one example, demonstrated Ghost’s musical palette and stage production. The percussive bass intro was haunting, unforgettable in the live setting. Yet, there was so much breadth of sound in every song played that night it would be hard to pin down an honorable mention moment.