Ghost brought their Popestar tour to Old National Centre
2017 launched a massive world tour, diven by Iron Maiden with Ghost as show openers. Briefly splitting off from the big arenas, Ghost launched their Popestar side tour to support a recent EP of the same name. Dahlia Presents gave us one of two Indiana stops for the tour. For some fans, they could not justify the ticket price based solely off of an EP with the occasional response being, “I’ll wait until they release another full length and go see that tour.” You see, they were in Indianapolis at Old National Centre’s Egyptian room a year ago to initiate Indy with the award-winning Meliora.
Was the current show worth the massive amount of confetti that was shot into the audience for a tour attached to an EP? You bet! Did their show deviate much from a year ago? In a way, it did. The subtleties made all of the difference.
And before any creature took to the stage, the perception to the stage set up seemed like Ghost Lite. The stage was smaller, and the backdrop was not as elaborate as the year before, although just as devilish. In 2016, Old National’s theater drapes were pulled shut as “Misere Mei Deus” haunted the room. Frankincense permeated the air. This year, it was full transparency, shunning any mystery as Alligri, once again, blared through the speakers. When the ghouls took to the stage, they powered into “Squarehammer” from the Popestar EP. It took no time to realize just how better the band is.
Ghost – Squarehammer Video
Earlier this year, Ghost underwent a transition to a new league of unnamed ghouls backing Papa Emeritus and the namesake. Unsure just how that would translate to the stage, it took no time for devil horns to go up in approval and heads to nod to the beat. The ghouls were less lethargic and more energized. Ghost felt more like rock stars, whoever they may be. Holding guitars in the air as a stamp of approval for their soloing, synths in action, and Papa proposing hand gestures as a means of approval, their set list was intoxicating. I want to say it was the smaller stage real estate and months for the band to perfect working together that made this particular show one of the best.
And after “Absolution”‘s dual solo that would make Tom Scholz perk up, confetti clouded the room. It was the most grandiose exit to a Ghost song I have experienced. Papa stood center stage with his arms outstretched and a demeanor that screamed “love me!” With a cheering audience, Ghost deserved the trophy, making them heroes. By the end of the show, I have never experienced such a gratuitous and thankful Papa. With ghouls by his side, the music may have been the focus, but their hearts were what drove it.