GHOST Live At Andrew Jackson Hall In Nashville [Review & Photo Gallery]

 

Ghost

Less than five blocks away from the Mother Church of Country Music, there was a sermon being delivered from the stage of the Andrew Jackson Hall that was polar opposite of what most people would expect from Nashville, TN. Just up the street from country twang filled honky-tonks on Broadway, throngs of fans descended upon the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to spend an evening with Ghost who brought their Rats! On the Road tour to Music City USA on May 23rd.

Ghost

In advance of their fourth studio album, titled Prequelle, set to be released on June 1st, Cardinal Copia and the Nameless Ghouls of the Grammy Award winning band Ghost are currently in the middle of a month long US tour bringing their message to the masses during an “evening with” format that features no opening bands but nearly two hours of one the best theatrical and musical performances you may ever witness.
As most Ghost fans know, the identity of the Nameless Ghouls that make up the band remained a mystery up until a 2017 lawsuit resulted in the unmasking of former Ghouls and even Papa Emeritus himself. As a result, and arguably for the better, Ghost frontman Tobias Forge is bringing a much larger production with this tour which now includes more performers, backing vocalists, and even a surprise appearance by a saxophone playing Papa Nihil.

Ghost

With the curtain down and the angelic, yet ominous sounds of Gregorio Allegri’s “Miserere Mei, Deus” resonating through the house speakers, members of the flock, beverages in hand, scurry down the aisles to their seats when suddenly a low drone followed by the sounds of children’s voices singing “Ashes” brings a loud roar and a sense of urgency from the congregation. With the bang of a drum and a long open D chord, the curtain rises and soon thereafter we’re treated to “Rats”, the first single off their upcoming album. A dapper, dressed in all black, Cardinal Copia appears and again the crowd erupts. Fist in the air and asking “Are you with us Nashville?” the Cardinal conducts the first of many sing-alongs. Following “Rats”, the band transitions into “Absolution” off their third and most current studio album, Meliora. After a quick “Good Evening Nashville!,” the service continues with back to back songs off their first album, ‘Opus Eponymous’. In between “Ritual” and “Con Clavi Con Dio” the congregation was witness to the first of four outfit changes as the Cardinal was now donning his black robes.

Ghost

After powering through “Per Aspera ad Inferi” and “Devil Church,” we see Cardinal Copia return to his black suit for fan favorite “Cirice.” Midway through the song, a young lady catches the eye of the Cardinal and he drops to a knee, takes her by the hands and serenades her, ending with a kiss on the hand as the chorus ends and the crowd cheers in approval. Then, following another song from deep in their catalog, “Stand by Him,” the congregation is treated to another new song from the forthcoming album, an instrumental called “Miasma.” With dueling guitar harmonies, 80’s classic rock synth, a finger tapping guitar solo, and a light and fog show to match, this song did not disappoint. The cherry on top, literally at the top of the stage, would have to be the moment when two nuns wheeled out a decrepit Papa Nihil, clothed in his traditional white robe and matching embroidered mitre, for a ripping sax solo!

It’s at this point in the performance where we see the charisma of frontman Tobias Forge, excuse me, Cardinal Copia, really shine through. Upon reentering the stage dressed in an all white suit, black hat and cane (think a resurrected Michel Jackson a la Smooth Criminal, just more evil), unimpressed by the reaction of the crowd, the Cardinal asks, “Nashville . . . I do an entrance that rips the fucking carpet apart, and this is what I get? A ripping entrance like that, a bitchin’ entrance, deserves a big cheer! So, uh, let’s do this again, but you need to be quiet. I’ll go hide, and then we’ll do a big cheer. Are you ready (crowd screams)? Then shut the fuck up (laughter erupts)! Ok, here I come!” As you can imagine, a standing ovation all through the theater. A much more pleased Cardinal thanks the crowd and asks them to give themselves a round applause followed by a big round for the Ghouls. Then, the Cardinal along with the bass and guitar players sit down for an acoustic rendition of “Jigolo Har Megiddo,” and the congregation claps along to keep the beat. All that was missing was the campfire. Up next is yet another new track, “Pro Memoria,” a song tailor-made for the musical theater production that Ghost is showcasing on this tour. Wrapping up Act I, yes folks, that was just the first Act of two, was “Deus in Absentia.”

 

Ghost

Following a brief intermission, the curtain rises accompanied by the sounds of a creepy, winding organ straight out of an episode of Scooby-Doo and Act II begins with “Spirit” as Cardinal Copia descends the stage in his red robes. The band barrels straight through and into the chunky bass intro of yet another long time fan favorite, “From the Pinnacle to the Pit,” after which the Cardinal took to the pulpit to address the congregation. “How you doing? I hope you took the opportunity to go and, eh, you went to the toilet, right? You’re not standing there like (mimicking a kid with their knees squeezed, needing to pee!). That’s the point, ‘cause we’re gonna rock your asses off for like over two hours! So are you ready to rock now?” He goes on to mention the new record, ‘Prequelle’, coming out on June 1st. “It’s very good . . . very, very good!” Rock our asses off they did, as the band moved right into another new song, “Faith” before continuing on with some older tunes in “Year Zero,” “He Is,” “Prime Mover,” and “Mummy Dust,” the latter of which was supposed to “tickle our taints” and saw a blizzard of confetti shoot from the stage, covering the crowd with what Cardinal Copia jokingly said was “really money and worth shit loads!” Before concluding Act II, the band performs a cover of Roky Erickson’s tune “If You Have Ghosts,” introduces to their sixth new song of the evening with “Dance Macabre” and closes with their first Billboard Mainstream Rock #1 song “Square Hammer.”

After three minutes of applause and chants of “One more song! One more song!” the Cardinal emerges from backstage and encourages the flock to “Go home already.” To which the crowd yells “Nooo!” The Cardinal retorts, “It’s over. We’re done. We’re done rocking! Imagine that I’m already in the shower.” The Cardinal reluctantly acquiesces to the crowd, telling them “You better make this fucking count!” as he then goes into the meaning of the encore song, “Monstrance Clock.” Let’s just say that congregation, from young to old, received a crash course in female “satisfaction.” And with the final notes and chorus of “Monstrance Clock” repeating in the background, an evening with Ghost comes to a rousing climax.

Ghost

Heading into this show I was vaguely familiar with Ghost at best, knowing only the songs that are in rotation on satellite radio. Leaving this show I have to say that Ghost has a new fan. The performances, the music, the mood, the elaborate gothic church backdrop, the theatrics . . . Rats! On the Road really delivered the closest thing to a Broadway musical that a metal head can appreciate! Assuming they will extend their tour upon the release of their new album, ‘Prequelle’, on June 1st, I hope for the sake of those who didn’t attend this run of dates, that Ghost sticks with the “evening with” format as I feel this is the way their music should be consumed.

 

PRIMUS, MASTODON, ALL THEM WITCHES In Nashville, TN [Review & Photo Gallery]

Primus

The city of Nashville, Tennessee has always been a household name for famous music cities around the globe; as a matter of fact it may just be the music CAPITOL of the world. Legendary venues such as the Grand Ole Opry have hosted some of the most famous names in music like Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins, but there’s no shortage of Metal in the country music capitol of the world. On May 15th, 2018, the Primus rolled into town on their summer tour with support from Mastodon and All Them Witches at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The tour started on May 6th in Denver, Colorado and ends on July 7th in Phoenix, Arizona.

All Them Witches

Getting the night started off the RIGHT way, All Them Witches didn’t hesitate to make their presence felt early. As an opening band, you don’t have a lot of room on stage to perform, but for these three gentlemen, space was not an issue. Sludgy, muddy guitar tones and thunderous drums roaring throughout the venue set the tone for the rest of what was an incredible bill to be a part of. Their set was incredibly well received for an opening band, and if you weren’t a fan going into the show, you definitely were when you left.

Mastodon

Rolling into the second performance, the mighty Mastodon showed Nashville why they are some of the masters of their craft. Intelligent songwriting, cut throat guitar and bass tones, and the bouncing vocals of all the members roar through the speakers and bring Nashville off their feet. Their set was diverse, containing songs from multiple records released through their storied career. From the ominous chimes on the intro of the opening song, “Sultan’s Curse,” to the heavy outro to the final song, “Steambreather,” both off their new record, ‘Emperor of Sand,’ Mastodon proved why hardships in their personal lives served as fuel for them to continue on to make music that pleases them and all their fans, and they proved it with a murky stage presence. Mastodon are veterans of the road and made sure Nashville left this concert with a new favorite artist.

Primus

The headliner of the evening, Primus, brought that of what you expect from a band of this stature. Opening their set with, “Too Many Puppies,” every voice in the auditorium was singing along with Les Claypool and moshing along to the complex rhythmic patterns of Primus’ music. At this point, it’s hard to not love this band, or at least heard of them. Technical difficulties on Ler’s end at one point couldn’t even stop them from performing. An impromptu bass solo from Claypool along with comedic stories kept Nashville enthused the entire night. The stage presence of Tim Alexander is astounding even behind his mountain of drums, along with in your face rhythms that are the core part of Primus’ music. All the fans were engaged throughout every song, and even at lower points of the evening, the cheery Nashville crowd were involved with every set, singing along, moshing and pushing, proving why their city is THE music capitol of the world even for this genre.

Nashville Rock N Pod Expo Will Feature Vinnie Vincent, Brian “Head” Welch & More!

 

The 2nd annual Rock N Pod Expo will take place on August 25th in Nashville, Tennessee at The Nashville Palace. In this modern era of music local radio stations are routinely playing the same artists over and over or only spinning those well established bands that have been dominating the airwaves for years. That’s where the podcasts come in; the majority of these podcast hosts started their show simply because they were passionate about music. These podcasts also provide a platform to promote up and coming bands. The Nashville Rock n Pod Expo will feature over 25 participating podcasts that have combined downloads exceeding ten million. The Nashville Rock n Pod Expo is like the Comic Con of podcasts and it features much more than simply the hosts of these shows, there will be a variety of jaw dropping guests who will be appearing at the event as well. Now in its second year, the Nashville Rock n Pod Expo is a one-day event that celebrates all things rock, metal and podcasting. Continue reading

An Interview With RUSTY SHIPP [Audio]

 

Photo Credit: Joy Slaprez

 

 

Rusty Shipp is one of the most unique bands that you will ever hear. The band is based in the land locked city of Nashville, but they are a nautical rock band. Formed in 2014 the band has released ‘Mortal Ghost’ which was seen by many to be one of the top albums of 2017 and the band has much more to offer. They plan on releasing a few more singles prior to putting out another record. Once you hear the groove and intelligent lyrics that put in their songs you will instantly become a fan.

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World’s Loudest Month Spotlight: TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN

*This is part of the “World’s Loudest Month” segment where we branch out and focus on bands that fans can see at the year’s biggest music festivals during the month of May 2018!  This week, we introduce Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, a blues-rock quartet from “Music City” Nashville, TN who will be seeing a lot of stage time this Summer at Rock on the Range, Rockville, and more!*

I’m a firm believer that no matter your music preference, whether it be metal, rap, pop, or techno, everyone loves the blues in some form or another.  It’s also my belief that this, paired with the know-how and musical ability to create incredible music compositions, has played a major role in the rising success of Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown.  The band is the epitome of soulful, genuine songs of rhythmic blues-infused rock and roll and have proven themselves so much as to be privileged enough to share the stage with music giants like ZZ Top, Eric Clapton, AC/DC, and Guns N’ Roses Continue reading

An Interview With Joshua Toomey (Talk Toomey Podcast / PRIMER 55)

 

Most of you are some time or another have heard something that Joshua Toomey has created, whether it be his music with the Nu-Metal legends Primer 55, or his Nashville based band 12 Volt Negative Earth, or his popular podcast Talk Toomey. The bass player turned podcaster was originally from the Nashville area, but moved to the Bluegrass state in order to join Primer 55. From 2002–2007 Toomey was the bands bassist and toured both near and far with the band. Prior to Primer 55 Toomey was a member of the band 12 Volt Negative Earth. I happened to see the band live and their sound was incredible and a band that should have went much further than they did. When Toomey left 12v to join Primer 55 he was replaced by another bassist you may know, Chris Kael now famously known as the bass player for Five Finger Death Punch. When Toomey left the stage and started a family (who are adorable by the way) he still had that creative itch, and was inspired by other podcasters like Jamey Jasta. He felt like he had something to say in a creative manner so Talk Toomey was born. His last name which I’m sure has been a headache at times was finally put to some good use and it didn’t take long before a vast amount of fans were familiar with the name. After speaking at the Louder Than Life festival in 2016 and 2017 Toomey and I (Fist – Editor & Founder of Metal Nexus) decided to join forces bringing together Talk Toomey’s incredible conversations, already established fan base, guests and insight with the hard working Metal Nexus staff and our fans. The partnership was instantly a hit and Metal Nexus is incredibly happy to have Talk Toomey as part of the Metal Nexus family. This interview was an opportunity to allow you – the fans to get to know the man behind the mic a little better, and also for two friends to just shoot the shit.

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The Bucketlist With HOGAN’S GOAT

*In this series we pose the age old questions to a wide array of music lovers. As fans of music most of us keep a mental list of active bands we want to see live that we haven’t yet seen. The Bucketlist brings to you those lists of your favorite artists and why those bands mean so much to them*

 

Hogan’s Goat is named after a tale from Scottish folklore. The band initially formed in late 2014. As the story goes, a farmer (Hogan) owned a goat rumored to have an odor said to travel miles away. The goat’s been described as having patchy fur, an eye out of socket, and flies abound. For the band, this perfectly symbolized their unorthodox style, that which is anything but unnoticeable. They couldn’t have picked a better fable for their namesake. More like a powerful mountain ram the band roams through various styles of music never staying in one place too long. Their first show (at SXSW, on the rooftop of The Blind Pig) was part of an all Nashville (non-country) showcase. Soon after, Hogan’s Goat returned to Nashville, they competed in BMI’s “Road To Bonnaroo” (winning the fan vote) and played many other shows around the Nashville area. While most people think Nashville is only a country town, there is a vibrant rock and metal scene there as well. Hogan’s Goat has hoofed their way out of sea of country music to spread their music to the masses. While the band is based in Nashville it’s members migrated from all around the country like Billings, Montana, Denton, Texas , Southern Pines, North Carolina as well as Nashville. Like their music their roots run further than the eye can see. In March of 2016, Hogan’s Goat began recording their first LP, ‘Hogan’s Goat’ which released July 18th, 2017. The album was self-produced, mixed by Alex Gilson and Nathan Zensen at Gold Cassette and mastered by Tommy Dorsey. The band looks to tour regionally, nationally, and globally.  Their album was one of my favorite albums of the year and would likely be in the top 20 albums I heard last year. However, the stand out track “Shitkicker” from the album stayed in my listening rotation from the moment I heard the track until this very day. While that was one of the strongest tracks on the album the rest of the album is just as good including their most recent single they released a video for “Annie Off The Rails”. This isn’t your run of the mill Nashville band, forget about Nashville being the home of the Ryman, Nashville hot chicken and country music legends, Hogan’s Goat stands out more than those combined.  Continue reading

SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, and BEHEMOTH Annihilate Nashville 7/30/17

“This is the grown man tour.” –Randy Blythe

For metal heads, going to a REAL metal show and seeing your favorite metal band is the ultimate goal.  Thankfully, that’s a goal I was able to mark off the list a week ago in Nashville, TN when Slayer, Lamb of God, and Behemoth paid a visit to the Nashville Municipal Auditorium.  In a city where country music is prevalent, it was a nice change to bring a metal touch to the city, and what better way to do that, than to bring the heaviest tour of the Summer right to its core?  Of course, Nashville has seen its fair share of metal bands, but none of which compared to the lineup it witnessed on the night of July 30, 2017. Continue reading

Review: HOGAN’S GOAT ‘S/T’ [Song Stream]

Hogan’s Goat is named after a tale from Scottish folklore. The band initially formed in late 2014. As the story goes, a farmer (Hogan) owned a goat rumored to have an odor said to travel miles away. The goat’s been described as having patchy fur, an eye out of socket, and flies abound. For the band, this perfectly symbolized their unorthodox style, that which is anything but unnoticeable. They couldn’t have picked a better fable for their namesake. More like a powerful mountain ram the band roams through various styles of music never staying in one place too long. Their first show (at SXSW, on the rooftop of The Blind Pig) was part of an all Nashville (non-country) showcase. Soon after, Hogan’s Goat returned to Nashville, they competed in BMI’s “Road To Bonnaroo” (winning the fan vote) and played many other shows around the Nashville area. While most people think Nashville is only a country town, there is a vibrant rock and metal scene there as well. Hogan’s Goat has hoofed their way out of sea of country music to spread their music to the masses. While the band is based in Nashville it’s members migrated from all around the country like Billings, Montana, Denton, Texas , Southern Pines, North Carolina as well as Nashville. Like their music their roots run further than the eye can see. In March of 2016, Hogan’s Goat began recording their first LP, ‘Hogan’s Goat’ which is set to release July 18th, 2017. The album was self-produced, mixed by Alex Gilson and Nathan Zensen at Gold Cassette and mastered by Tommy Dorsey. The band looks to tour regionally, nationally, and globally. Continue reading

State of the Art: Tennessee – Noisecult

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*

This month’s State is Tennessee!

Nashville, Tennessee’s Noisecult came to fruition in 2004 by guitarist/vocalist Don Carr and vocalist Bo Heyward who had been working together on many musical projects since 1993. Sharing a love for the 1970’s Hard Rock and underground Metal infused with Punk and “classic dark wall of sound pioneered by Black Sabbath”, Carr and Heyward started their dream project after a two year hiatus from working together. One short year later, their first full length album “End of Days” was released and Noisecult played a relentless number of shows to get their creation to the public.

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