Holy Ghost! : Live

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/holyghostnov9.jpg" alt="Holy Ghost! : Live" />Headlining their first tour, Holy Ghost! baptized Portland, OR with a sweaty mid-week dance party at Holocene. ...
Holy Ghost! : Live
Holy Ghost!

Headlining their first tour, Holy Ghost! baptized Portland, OR with a sweaty mid-week dance party at Holocene on November 9th.  Around 11:30 pm, vocalist Alex Frankel, Nick Millhiser, and the rest of the backing band made their way on stage and, after some quick introductions, opened with “Static On the Wire”.  There was a fair amount of crowd chatting going on, but people were still right up against the stage and there wasn’t a lot of space to move around in the 325-person venue.  By the time they kicked into their second song, “It’s Not Over”, the audience had finally settled into the groove of singing and dancing.  Holy Ghost! were very appreciative and seemed to have a few jitters initially, possibly realizing everyone was here to see them.  This was their show and their set wasn’t a warm up.  And in just barely under an hour, they delivered as a headliner.

The stage was packed with instruments, with cables and wires strewn throughout and it could barely everything, including six band members.  Lights were flashing and pulsating and the Holocene was a good fit for the band.  They worked through ten of the eleven songs on their debut album (QRO review) that came out this past spring and remain fairly true to original versions.  “Slow Motion” was locked into a great groove and, on occasion, Frankel would pound away at a solitary snare drum.  “Do It Again” received the loudest cheers of the night and they could have easily spun this out for way longer than four minutes.  It works great live and the “do do do it again” refrain popped perfectly in time with the flashing lights.  Their first single, 2007’s “Hold On”, got a fun wa-wa pedal work out at the end.

Current single “Wait and See” turned into another sing-a-long and the audience thoroughly had a blast belting out the “a-ah-oh-a-oh” section.  “Jam For Jerry” was a very poignant song despite the dance-y beats, though what the song is about may have been lost on most in the crowd.  It was written for their late drummer Jerry Fuchs, who passed away in 2009 when he fell down an elevator shaft.  With lyrics like, “Did the sky open up above you in the dark?” and “If I could change it all I would if only I could,” it’s hard to find the balance between mourning and celebrating a life.  Even when Frankel sings, “I get the feeling I’ve done / Something half wrong,” it’s easy to feel a lump in the throat.  But this didn’t put a damper on the night at all.  In fact, it was a nice bit of change within all the dancing.  

The band’s encore wasn’t even an encore really.  Instead Frankel stated, “We’re gonna try something we’ve never done” and “This is our attempt at ‘1978’.  It’s gonna fall apart”.  Opener Jessica 6 joined the already crowded stage and for seven minutes they jammed away.  Did it work?  Not totally.  But it was still a fun way to wrap up the night.  The only thing to note is they left out two amazing songs, “Some Children” that features The Doobie Brothers’ (QRO live review) Michael McDonald and new single “I Wanted To Tell Her”, a cover of Ministry’s 1983 song.  Those would have taken the night completely over the top.  Aside from that, Holy Ghost! showed they are clearly ready for their new headliner status.

Holy Ghost!Set List

Static On the Wire
It’s Not Over
Hold My Breath
Say My Name
Slow Motion
Do It Again
Hold On
Wait and See
I Will Come Back
Jam For Jerry
“1978” Jam

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