w/ Amon Amarth
Ascend Amphitheater; Nashville, TN
August 27, 2023
Review and photos by Hannah Laney
Swedish hard rock and metal band Ghost put on an incredible performance at their recent return to Nashville at Ascend Amphitheater. It was their biggest headlining show in Music City yet, and met with much praise and a sold out crowd. Fans from all over gathered together in order to celebrate the Grammy-award winning group, and we were there to take it all in. Read on for our review and photos!
Amon Amarth, also hailing from Sweden, set the evening alive with their amazingly orchestrated and theatrical show. With every song came another stage prop that would make Broadway theaters tremble. What more could you expect from a band whose name comes from a Lord of the Rings reference? At one point, lead vocalist Johan Hegg brought down a fiery dragon with his viking hammer. Need I say more? The audience was also involved in part of the theatrics, collectively rowing themselves away from danger.
Tobias Forge, otherwise known as Papa Emeritus IV, has been crafting the image of his band for the past 17 years. With careful planning and execution, everything from the stage design to the characters around him, he has made a world where Ghost fans can escape from reality, even if just for a couple of hours. I was blown away by how much dedication was put in not only by the band itself, but by the fans as well. Everywhere I turned there was another costume outdoing the last. It was like Halloween came early. The best concert experiences, in my opinion, are those where the call and response between performer and fan is so prominent that it feels like that moment is the only one happening in the world, like nothing else matters.
Songs like “Spillways,” “Call Me Little Sunshine,” and “Watcher In The Sky,” from their latest record IMPERA, were received with much approval and enthusiasm throughout the set. The stage design resembled that of a large Catholic church, complete with the depiction of stained glass windows as the backdrop. Pyrotechnics were another exciting part of the show, giving off an intense heat wave that fell over the first few rows of the audience, adding even more to the “hellish” experience. It was almost sinister not being able to see the band’s (a.k.a. the Nameless Ghouls) faces due to them being in full costume the entire time.
Overall, the performance was equally haunting as it was enchanting. Attending a Ghost concert is something I will never forget and hope to do it again! The plot will only thicken until then and I can’t wait to see what else the band’s storyline holds. While only a few dates remain in their latest tour of North America, given the huge response to these shows, there’s no doubt that the band will be out on the road again soon. Make sure to catch Ghost in a city near you!
All photos by Hannah Laney.
Call Me Little Sunshine
Con Clavi Con Dio
Watcher in the Sky
Mary on a Cross
Respite on the Spitalfields
Kiss the Go-Goat