LIVE REVIEW: Ghost Black to the Future - Bloomington, IL

Central Illinois is the home of at least 807 satan worshipers. All of them came out to attend mass put on by clergymen Ghost. From the outside looking in this may seem like a scary place to be but it ended up being one of the most pleasant experiences for this parishioner. The sold out service was held at The Castle Theater in Bloomington, IL. Men, women and children (seriously there were children there) alike came out in droves. They were excited, respectful and ready to have a good time…and Ghost did not disappoint.

From the second I heard Ghost’s music I fell in love. When you mix in the theatrics and the image you’ve got the perfect combination of great music and mystery. That’s what’s missing from rock n roll today, mystery. Ghost is single handedly keeping that alive. They’re all in with the image, theatrics and music. The show started before the band hit the stage. Most bands just play music up until it’s time to hit the lights. Ten minutes before the band hit the stage organ based satanic church music blared through the speaker. Two stoic ushers came on the stage to remove the cover from the drum and keyboards and test the instruments. Name another band with that level of commitment to their live show.

When the clergy hit the stage the parish erupted in excitement. They kicked things off with “From the Pinnacle to the Pit.” The band was tight. Song after song was as good as the album if not better. They were flawless. Papa Emeritus III is the ultimate showman. While the other nameless Ghouls were all dressed the same they commanded the stage as if every member of the band was a house hold name. What this band has been able to accomplish over the last few years is truly impressive.

The highlight of the show for me was “Year Zero.” The song is clearly the bands biggest hit and it got the biggest reaction from the crowd. It was also the song that made me fall in love with Ghost. The song “Ghuleh/Zombie Queen” is a song I liked but after seeing them play it live it’s now one of my favorite Ghost songs. They played it during the latter part of the show which I thought was a weird place for the song since it starts out so mellow but to watch that song build live is quite the experience.

If you haven’t had the chance to experience Ghost I highly recommend jumping at the next chance. The dedication to not only their craft but the whole package is commendable. I’m glad I made the two hour trip to cover the show. I don’t plan on ever missing another Ghost show.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at
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