Ghost, Mastodon and Spiritbox Rock Bangor, Maine’s Cross Insurance Center [Photos]

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The juggernaut of Swedish psychedelic rock Phantom is in the final days of “The Imperatour,” a race across North America to support their 2020 release, Impera. On this final leg of the race, the band brought in sludge/stoner metal giants Mastodon and Canadian post-metal act spirit box as support. We were lucky enough to witness the tour as it traveled on a dreary fall evening in Bangor, Maine. Cross Insurance Center.

The lineup for the evening was quite diverse and started off at peak intensity with a devastating but dynamic set from Spiritbox from Vancouver, BC. As the group’s first concert in Maine, it was only fitting that it would take place in the singer’s city Courtney LaPlanteHis birth. The band had the few hundred fans who had arrived early, bouncing back from the get-go as they kicked off their set with the absurdly catchy single, “Circle With Me,” followed by three more tracks from their full debut. , Eternal Blue, including the skull-crushing hit, “Holy Roller.” LaPlante and his bandmates sounded perfect, if not better than the recordings, and the crowd seemed to devour every minute. For the final two tracks of their 25-minute set, the band released two new tracks from their latest release, Rotoscopeending with a brutal breakdown in “Hysteria”.

Mastodon struggled to keep up in Spiritbox, especially with the number of viewers who had clearly been there early just for the openings. Supported by a two-tier wall of LED panels and with an ensemble filled with newer materials, Mastodon opened with “Pain With An Anchor,” from their 2021 release. Silent and sinister. It was great to see the drummer and the backing vocalist Brann Dailor actually visible on stage with the setup that they’re leading this tour and hearing his voice ring out right away so early in the set. They continued with two for longtime fans, 2006’s “Crystal Skull.” mountain of blood and 2004’s “Megalodon” Leviathan, before diving back into the new disc with “The Crux” and “Teardrinker”.

Fittingly, as the set progressed, the images on the LED panels seemed to get more and more trippy. The band released a few more surprises for the faithful, including 2009’s ‘The Czar’, arguably one of the greatest progressive/stoner metal records ever made. Crack the Skye. Mastodon closed out their set with the classic “Mother Puncher”, much to the delight of the crowd.

The arena was in turmoil as the stage, hidden behind a curtain, was changed to Ghost. Finally, the intro sounded, the curtain fell and the many Nameless Ghouls of Ghost emerged, followed soon after by Papa Emeritus IV (a.k.a Tobie Forge) to play the set opener “Kaisarion”. If you haven’t seen Ghost yet, it’s quite a sight. Fabulously dazzling lighting and scenery, costume changes, not to mention the outfits and antics of the Nameless Ghouls!

Although clearly highly choreographed, the band knows how to put together an immersive performance and musically speaking, Forge and his bandmates left nothing to be desired. The band continued their set with 2018’s anthems “Rats” and “Faith” Prequel. Hits kept coming as the set progressed and included (to name a few) “Cirice”, “Hunter’s Moon”, “Con Clavi Con Dio” and “Year Zero”.

Later in the set, after a catchy song for “He Is,” fans were treated to a special guest who arrived in what appeared to be a see-through velvet-lined coffin rolled on a cart. The guest was none other than Dad Nihil– for the uninitiated, another of the characters from the Ghost canon – who joined the band during the saxophone song “Miasma” after being resurrected by “electric shock”. Check out some great footage from fans of the song below.

The night ended with an incredible encore, including fan favorites “Mummy Dust”, “Mary on a Cross” and “Square Hammer”. If you haven’t caught Ghost on this run yet, you have one last shot on Friday, September 23 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Resch Center.

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