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Ghost Performs a Black Mass at the Riviera Theater

Sweden’s massively popular hard rock group, Ghost, are currently making their way throughout North America on what they’re calling the Black to the Future tour. With England’s psychedelic rock group Purson at their side, these two European forces brought some serious noise to the Riviera Theater.

Purson is currently touring to support their latest album release, Electric Ladyland (titled after the Jimi Hendrix album of the same name), while Ghost is reveling in the release of their latest masterpiece Meliora. With both bands playing from their 2015 releases, it’s not surprising the show was sold out.

Ghost is a Swedish occult rock band that emerged to the scene back in 2010 with their first album Opus Eponymous, and their creepy appearance. The band consists of five instrumentalists: two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a keyboardist, all of whom are identified only as “Nameless Ghouls.” The sixth member of their band is the lead singer, known as Papa Emeritus, who dresses as an unholy pope. Despite drawing their imagery and appearance from black metal, the band’s sound is reminiscent of hard rock and 70’s prog rock. Although they deal with the same Satanic themes of black metal, the band doesn’t deal with the idea of the blood-soaked armies of Hell, but rather self-empowerment and individuality.

“We have a new album,” Papa Emeritus said to the attending congregation. “Yes, it is very, very good. Better than most.” The band’s energy throughout the whole show drew the whole crowd into a frenzy, and sang along with all the songs, which can be heard in most of the videos you’ll find on the Internet. With an excellent setlist that stretched over all three of their albums, Ghost truly showed their Chicago congregation what it meant to rock and roll.

David Gagnon

Born in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, Dave has laid down his soul to the gods rock n' roll. He attended Columbia College Chicago as a major in Creative Writing. Some of his favorite things are heavy metal and pizza.

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