Ghost’s rise to fame has been unlike that of any band in recent heavy metal history. It seems like only yesterday that fans were downloading the Elizabeth demo from some doom metal blog. But this Saturday night, thousands of fans flock into Brooklyn’s Barclays Center arena to see the band play a two-hour solo set, complete with an intermission.
As diehards trundle into the arena and see the band’s massive stage set--a white gothic stone balcony beneath a massive backdrop of stained glass windows depicting the previous Papas in religious rapture – a ripple of excited chatter moves through the crowd. How far this band has come.
The make-up of the audience itself is fascinating – for many, Ghost remain tied to the Scandinavian satanic metal scene. Yet the arena is packed with blue-collar dudes from Long Island and Jersey, who rock their Ghost gear in proud display, to the point where some husky construction worker types even have Ghost hoodies over Ghost tees. Seeing so many typical American folks wearing this many inverted crosses feels initially jarring, but it speaks to the reason that Ghost are making their public spectacle a solo affair rather than bringing on a crew of hungry young opening bands. Tonight’s not about seeing metal, it’s about seeing one show and one show only.