GHOST – MAY 6th, 2014 – ORLANDO FL, BEACHAM THEATRE
Ok, so I have been looking forward to seeing GHOST (Let’s just dispense with the Ghost B.C. business. Nobody calls them that.) for quite a while now. I could have gone to see them last October when they opened for Avenged Sevenfold, but really – who wants to shell out $50 to watch them play a 20 minute set while being surrounded by an arena (half) full of people who think that Avenged Sevenfold is a good band.
Another thing I was excited about is the new commuter rail system that just started running in Orlando. Those of you who live in actual cities may wonder what the big deal is. You’ve had subways or rail systems or some kind of functioning mass transit for so long that you take it for granted. Not us. Despite having all the trappings of a real city (pro basketball team, huge international airport, major tourist destination) if you want to get anywhere around here you have to jump in your car and road rage it down I-4. Until last week.
Imagine my disappointment when I looked up the train schedule and found that it doesn’t run on weekends and the last train out of downtown back toward civilization leaves at 9 fuckin 30. What kind of hodunk podunk bullshit is that? It’s embarrassing. It’s like we’re intentionally trying to look like yokels. Oh well, two steps forward, one step back I suppose. Anyway, I got in my car and drove to the venue like some kind of fucking Luddite.
I have been catching shows at the Beacham since the ’90s, and I have come to learn that there is one thing you can count on when seeing a band there: The sound is going to be terrible. I’m not sure if it’s the shape of the theater or the construction materials or both, but it always sounds like crap there. Usually a mix of too much volume, muddy low end, and some feedback thrown in for good measure. Not tonight! GHOST sounded clean and clear. I’m pretty sure this was because GHOST had no amps on stage, nor did they have floor monitors or side fills. Both the guitars and bass were run direct and they were using in ear monitors. Maybe more bands should look into this type of set up. It really eliminated a lot of extra noise that normally plagues this venue.
GHOST played a nice variety of songs off Opus Eponymous and Infestissumam. I heard every song I wanted to hear, and they all sounded pretty much like the album. I felt like the simpler, more rock based material from Opus Eponymous came across better live than did the more “poppy” material from Infestissumam. However, the crowd reaction to “Year Zero“, “Ghuleh / Zombie Queen“, and “Monstrance Clock” was more enthusiastic than for the earlier material. I will say that at times I thought they relied too heavily on the backing vocal tracks, but it wasn’t bad enough to distract me from enjoying the show. Also, Papa Emeritus II an excellent frontman. He’s soft spoken and witty with the crowd between songs. I wish more bands would be this way instead of just screaming “This next song is ARGLEGARBLENECRODIE!!”
To sum it up: GHOST was awesome and if they come to your town you should go see them, mass transit or not.