Concert Review: Ghostemane Live In Auckland
I completely understand if you’ve never heard of Ghostemane because, to be honest, I hadn’t heard of him prior to his show being announced. But he is clearly more known than I thought as the line to get in went from The Studio entry to the corner of K’Rd and East St and was steadily growing. People seemed to flow in and couldn’t resist hitting the merch stand at the entry before heading down to the floor. Rather than spacing themselves out, this crowd seemed to squash together to get as close to the stage as possible.
A little after 8 pm Dana Dentata took the stage. An eerie intro played out as Dana entered the room. With candles lit around her and an incredible outfit, she was ready to own the stage alongside her guitarist leeleezee. Now I suppose if someone entered the room dressed the way she did, you would just write her off as “slutty” but the confidence in her presentation totally erased that. She was a confident and strong woman who would probably either show you a great time or fuck you up if you tried her. I loved it. Her set was quite short but she really mixed it up with the grungy lighting and stripping off her shirt to bleeding between her legs and also a chain & dominatrix whip. But she had a sweet moment where she through flowers out to the crowd. This may be a trick, be careful. Dana commanded the crowd with them raging hard and reaching out for her affection. Going out on her track which is written all over her merch TND (Trust No Dick), she showed Auckland why they should all know who she is and they loved it.
To keep the crowd going, Ghostemane’s official DJ Parvo played some tracks to get the crowd going. With a lit up make strapped around his face, he really made this set all his own. He had the crowd jumping and even doing mosh pits. The music was similar to Ghostemane’s but I suppose that makes sense to amp the crowd up with music they're excited for. I particularly enjoyed that he played quite a bit of Scarlxrd and also Lil Peep (RIP).
Suddenly it went dark and as the intro played out Ghostemane’s band took the stage. Ghostemane came out in a high energy craze lit with bold colours and strobe. It was crazy. It really showed what this set is going to be like. He took the stage draped in all black with an Alice in Chains shirt, white contacts are red shadow around his eyes. Now, this was no ordinary rap show, this was more like a metal/hardcore show. He got the crowd to run in a circle pit and even managed a wall of death midway through the set. He performs in that way the way he headbangs etc. But I think what catches people off is the little creature that runs about the stage amping along to him and hyping the crowd. It is essentially a guy in a Slipknot-style mask and a jumpsuit. But he had such crazy energy and honestly he worked the stage well.
I particularly love the part where Dana came out in a mask and attacked him. Get him, girl! There’s no doubt the stage was hot, with his guitarist eventually losing his mask and Parvo losing his shirt.
Now he performed A LOT of tracks (see below) but I loved the small acoustic moment he had with the crowd where all the lights went out and only phone lights and lighters lit the room. But that was only a brief break, apart from Parvo’s brief intermission set. However if anything, things just amped up with Ghostemane calling for crowd-surfers and stage divers. The creature was on hand to get them off stage as well as security below. But the overflow was crazy. Then to add to the carnage Ghostemane smashed up a guitar and his crew gave the pieces out to the crowd. “Thank you for letting me fly out here. I can’t wait to explore the country” Then he announced it was his last song “Crowd surf. Kick someone. Kiss someone. Kick someone in the teeth” As he performed ‘Venom’ he reminded the crowd it was their last chance to go crazy. Then in no time at all, it was over “Have a great fucking night. I love you. Get home safe”.
But the crowd wasn’t done yet. As The Studio sat in darkness the stomps, banging of the barriers and chants of the crowd rang out. The crowd seemed to maintain it for quite a while that it left you wondering, was it really over? It wasn’t. With their return to the stage, they performed two more tracks “If you know this sone you’re a real fan. We have one more song. I don’t know when I’m coming back here so you need to turn the fuck up”.
Going out on Mercury Retrograde, he had Parvo cut the track as he finished off the set with an acapella/crowd moment. A grungy screaming outro played out and they all departed the stage, not before giving out setlist to the crowd. Now that was a show! It wasn’t metal, it wasn’t rap, I don’t even know. It was essentially a bunch of crazy different things that made for a fun and wild night. I’m glad I’ve come across this type of music because it really is something else. If you haven’t, you need to experience it. Ghostemane has made a lasting impression here in Auckland.
DANA DENTATA SETLIST (as written):
D IN THE D
SON OF SAM
TND (TRUST NO DICK)
GHOSTEMANE SETLIST (as written):
HEAD LIKE A HOLE (NIN COVER)
SQUEEZE (HOOK ONLY)
STICK OUT (HOOK ONLY)