The Swedish band Ghost formed in 2006 and found a mark in the metal scene by performing completely incognito. Throughout the years that followed, the lead persona of the band changed, but still managed to keep himself secret. Four versions of this so-called “PapaEmeritus” persona existed before April 2018, when a new leader was introduced. It was revealed that the new leader of Ghost would be Cardinal Copia, who made his live debut with the group and is not a part of the Papa Emeritus lineage. Instead of continuing with the Demonic Pope persona, Cardinal Copia (Tobias Forge), has a plain, skull-like mask. It still remains to be seen if Copia will take on the makeup of his predecessors.
Cardinal Copia and his “Nameless Ghouls” brought their elaborate stage set to the Orpheum Theater as a perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. Their two-part set and encore covered the band’s catalogue nicely and focused on this years Prequelle and 2015’s Meliora. There’s something great about going into a show when the band is not pretending to be who they aren’t or pandering to the audience. Their anonymity could have easily been taken as camp, but when you see the big picture, that notion is quickly thrown aside.
The production was massive and took up every inch of the Orpheum stage. Pictures really don’t do it justice, as the enormity can’t really be captured so close up. All in all, a great show, and no one seemed to care that Forge wasn’t in full Pope regalia. The lack of robe gave him more freedom to explore the stage and interact with the Nameless Ghouls.