jakub | October 9, 2023

Halloween Comes Early as Ghost Brings Their Spooktacular Re-Imperatour Tour To John Cain Arena in Melbourne, Australia on October 4, 2023


Words by Louise Miller and Images by Deb Kloeden 


Grammy award winning, Swedish theatrical rockers, Ghost, return to Australia. after four years for their first Headline Tour. Demand from fans for the full Ghost experience was high as all venues were upgraded. Melbourne’s adoring fans proved this by selling out the 10, 500 capacity John Cain Arena.

SOUTH EAST DESERT METAL The most isolated Metal band in the world are currently touring the East and supporting Ghost. South East Desert Metal were scheduled to play in Melbourne. However, Ghost were forced to cancel them from this show to allow extra time for them to set up their complex stage set.


Arriving at a fully packed arena, I could see the commitment to the metal band Ghost was strong. There were diverse fans of all ages, even very young ones, clothed in Metal themed T-shirts, corpse-face painted teens holding handwritten signs, Goth style clothing and even girls dressed up as nuns.

Once the Gregorian style vocal chants stopped playing through the speakers, lights dimmed and the Kabuki (large white curtain covering the stage) dropped to reveal the most amazing stage set, similar to a Gothic European church with arched stained glass windows and raised drum kit. Front man Papa Emeritus IV and his nameless ghouls entered on stage with full-face masks that looked like something out of a Mad Max movie. From that moment I knew it was going to be an exciting, eccentric stage show.

Front man (Tobias Forge) in his shiny gold jacket began singing their extensive collection of songs beginning with “Kaisarion” then ripping through “Rats” and “Spillways”. The pyrotechnics went off with a BANG! Their perfectly timed music, heavy drumming, colorful lighting and the presence of a creative front man, clearly resonated with the crowd as their hands were raised with pumping horn gesture and singing along. I was clearly witnessing a larger than life theatre rock show and was intrigued by what more was to come.

Ghost crammed in sixteen more songs that represented their catalogue of albums including their heaviest metal songs “Rats” “Miasma” and “Mummy Dust”. Many eyes were on the corpse face painted Papa, as his outfits were ever-changing, representing various Papa characters and the chronological musical journey of Ghost. Forge wore a diverse variety of religious headwear, shiny jackets, frilled sleeves and bat wings, something I’ve never seen at your typical metal show. The nameless, speechless and mask-wearing ghouls stood out to me, pumping out the most amazing guitar riffs I’ve ever heard. Interactions between the ghouls and other musicians were comic and quite entertaining. Papa showed appreciation of his audience by stopping to talk and share his messages in a preacher-like way.

To wrap up the show he cheekily discussed the number of songs they should play in their encore. There was no disappointment as they played pop rock anthem “Kiss the Go Goat”, “Dance Macabre” and “Square Hammer”. The colourful rainbow lighting from the star shape light installation, with exploding confetti bombs, falling fireworks, fantastic vocals and energetic ghouls made this ending spectacular. Papa finished with “We should rejoice over the fact that we’ve had a wonderful evening together.”


Ghost :

Tobias Forge, Papa Emeritus IV – Vocals

Nameless Ghoul Fire – Lead Guitar

Nameless Ghoul – Air/Wind – Guitar

Nameless Ghoul Water – Bass

Nameless Ghoul Earth – Drums





Intro 1.) Klara stjärnor  (Jan Johansen song)

Intro 2.) Miserere mei, Deus  (Gregorio Allegri song)

Intro 3.) Imperium

1.) Kaisarion

2.) Rats

3.) Faith

4.) Spillways

5.) Cirice

6.) Absolution

7.) Ritual

8.) Call Me Little Sunshine

9.) Con Clavi Con Dio

10.) Watcher in the Sky

11.) Year Zero

12.) Spöksonat

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

21.) Sorrow in the Wind






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