October 1, 2023


Living on the edge!

GHOST + HALESTORM – AFAS Live, Amsterdam (concert review)

June 4, 2023 – AFAS Live, Amsterdam | Last summer, the Grammy winning metal band Ghost played on the RTM-stage in Ahoy Rotterdam. This summer the band will return to Europe to play at festivals in particular. Amsterdam is one of the few cities where a separate concert takes place. As support act they bring the American rock band Halestorm with them.

It is busy towards AFAS Live, because Harry Styles will play tonight in the Johan Cruijff Arena. As a result, the undersigned is unfortunately too late for Halestorm. Fortunately, Ashley (Slashley Photography) was in time to take pictures.

Besides some older metalheads, the room is mainly filled with young enthusiasts who are impatiently waiting for their idols. The typical organ sounds we know from Ghost is emphatically present 20 minutes before the show, to get the audience in the mood. A large white curtain hangs in front of the stage to hide what we are about to see. The Swedish band has been active since 2006 and has released five studio albums so far. In 2022 the band released the album ‘IMPERA’ and in 2023 the EP ‘Phantomime’, which is filled with covers.

At 21:30 the intro of ‘Kaisarion’ starts and the curtain falls and we see the beautiful decor of the band. Like visiting a cathedral. No less than 8 musicians and Papa Emeritus VI take you on a musical adventure. Remarkable is that the bass is very dominant during the songs and the guitars, synth and vocals are sometimes overruled. Especially during the instrumental song ‘Miasma’. Other than that, the sound is of very good quality and it is a wall of sound that comes at you.

Humor and quality
The audience literally sings along with every sentence. Musically and instrumentally the performance is 100% correct. Singer ‘Papa’ Tobias Forge also does not drop a stitch. He has a good voice and makes the audience eat out of his hand. Any movement, comment, or provocation to clap your hands elicits a response from the audience. Papa’s humorous remarks are also tasty. The songs come into their own better live than on the record. Especially in combination with an excellent and entertaining show around it.

Show and maturity
The show is never boring. Changeover of various outfits by Papa Emeritus, lots of fireworks in the form of flames and explosions and a confetti cannon including Ghost banknotes. Even a Pope (Papa Nihil) in a coffin is brought to life with an AED and then plays the solo in the instrumental song ‘Miasma’.

After 20 songs and 2 hours, the show really comes to an end. Ghost has become a very mature band and is far from growing. I’m curious how they will do it as a headliner at Graspop Metal Meeting!

– Imperium (tape)
1. Kaisarion
2. Rats
3. Faith
4. Spillways
5. Cirice
6. Hunter’s Moon
7. Jesus He Knows Me (Genesis cover)
8. Ritual
9. Call Me Little Sunshine
10. Con Clavi Con Dio
11. Watcher in the Sky
12. Year Zero
– Spöksonat (tape)
13. He Is
14. Miasma
15. Mary on a Cross
16. Mummy Dust
17. Respite on the Spitalfields

18. Kiss the Go-Goat
19. Dance Macabre
20. Square Hammer