Returning to Massachusetts for the first time since rocking Boston’s Wang Theatre last December, Swedish metal phenoms Ghost returned to the Bay State on Monday night for a hard-driving, heavy, and spooky pre-Halloween soiree, as they brought their highly-anticipated Ultimate Tour Named Death to Worcester’s DCU Center – and just as frontman Tobias Forge intended, asses were “wobbled,” and while we can’t personally confirm, it’s more likely than not that a few “taints were tickled,” as well.
With Texas quartet Nothing More getting things started for the evening, the band’s barefoot bacchanalia went from zero to sixty really quick, as frontman Jonny Hawkins began the show as one does, by climbing his way down to the stage from some sort of free-standing scaffolding as the descent into the group’s signature high-energy performance began. With only roughly 45 minutes to get the crowd warmed up for the main event, Hawkins – backed by guitarist Mark Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver, and drummer Ben Anderson – put forth an intensely emotional and well-crafted set that certainly got the crowd moving before Ghost took the stage.
With the eerie soundscape of “Ashes” filling the arena before the curtain fell at 8:45, the anticipation was in the stratosphere, and by 8:47, the crowd was collectively dragged down to hell as the Nameless Ghouls hit the gas and broke in with “Rats,” before Forge sauntered onto the stage to usher in a night of pure metal ecstasy, and never looked back.
Filling the remainder of their 20-song set with a mish-mash of new tunes, fan favorites and deep cuts, Forge and his haunting crew went on the attack with tactical precision to bring the city of Worcester undoubtedly one of the most high-energy shows of 2019, mixing hard-hitting musical mayhem with humor and light-hearted banter. The slender frontman sounded great, the band was on point from start to finish, and the stage production, which finally included pyrotechnics thanks to the space they had, gelled almost perfectly to bring out a full-on theatrical experience that wasn’t over saturated by any of the elements included, unless you count the chest-crushing bass that just refused to quit until about three quarters through the show.
Ending the night with a string of absolute bangers, including “Kiss The Go-Goat,” a glitter-and-confetti filled rendition of “Mummy Dust,” “Dance Macabre,” and capping the night with “Square Hammer,” Forge and the Ghouls didn’t need any encore. Their showing only further proved why they belong on an arena stage, and while this isn’t the first time Ghost has wowed a Massachusetts crowd, if nothing else, Monday night’s titanic performance ensured that it will certainly not be the last, either.
Article: Jason Greenough