The reinvention of live music: The story of Ghost


Photo: Dylan Baumgart / Advance-Titan — GhThe Reinvention of Live Music – Ghost performed recently in Green Bay. Besides their music, the band is known for protecting their identities by always wearing masks.

Dylan Baumgart, Staff Writer

Ghost, a Swedish psychedelic rock/heavy metal band, came onto the scene in 2010 when they released their debut album “Opus Eponymous.” Over the years their popularity has skyrocketed. In 2016, they won their first Grammy for Best Metal Performance. In 2019, they were nominated for two more Grammys: Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song.  

Ghost’s claim to fame is their live performances. They are known for putting on an incredibly intricate, story-driven performance that anyone can enjoy, even if you do not know the band.  

To understand Ghost as a band and their performances, you first must know a little bit about their history. Ghost is unique in that all the members of the band, except for the singer, are unknown to the public; even the singer does not show his face out of costume. The band wears full face masks on and off stage to protect their identities and the singer, named Tobias Forge, wears black and white skeleton-like face paint. 

Photo: Dylan Baumgart / Advance-Titan — The lead singer of Ghost is known as Papa Emeritus IV, although his real identity is unknown.

The band has cycled through four singers, although it is widely believed that they were all just Tobias going by a different onstage persona. The first character to appear was named Papa Emeritus who was then replaced by Papa Emeritus II in 2012 and Papa Emeritus III in 2015. In 2017, Papa Emeritus III was dragged off stage at the end of one of their performances, and in 2018, he was replaced by the current persona, Papa Emeritus IV. 

For those unfamiliar with the band, you may have heard of their song “Marry on a Cross.” This is their most popular song by far, amassing more than 150 million streams on Spotify alone. It gained massive popularity after blowing up on TikTok just a month or so ago. 

Anyone would enjoy Ghost live performances. Their mix of theatrics, dramatic stage building, canons, confetti, smoke, fire, explosions and music that anyone could enjoy makes Ghost one of the most legendary bands to see. 

I saw the band perform in Green Bay on their most recent tour. Unfortunately, the tour has ended. However, the band comes around every year or two, and I would highly recommend making the trip to see them when the chance arises. Their tour schedule can be found at