Saturday, June 22, 2024

BONUS: Rite Here Rite Now

A surprise to be sure but a welcome one.

I have no issue stating upfront this whole week would have sucked royally had this movie not come out and I went to go see it. do I explain Ghost? Well it's a swedish band that easily has the catchiest songs I've heard quite possibly in my life (aside from Black Sabbath) and almost all of them focus on Satan, but don't let that deter you if you are religious. The band doesn't take themselves seriously and have fun with it all tongue in cheek style, but they take the musical quality very seriously. It's also the only band I know of that has it's own lore, now I'm not talking pseudonyms like Quorthon or Starchild, or like easter eggs on the album cover, I mean they have a mythos that has been woven and expanded upon since 2010. Centering on the frontman and lead singer Papa Emeritus a Pope like figure with several iterations, and the bandmates themselves hidden in anonymity as Nameless Ghouls craft rocking and effortlessly ear worming songs. The movie focuses more on the music, with pepperings of plot (though it's still greatly substantial to us hardcore fans) taking place the last night of their tour in Los Angeles. This is perfect for me because I don't know if I'll ever have the chance to go to a ritual so this covers that! Plus the overall production taping the concert was excellent, I'll admit the editing was that highly kinetic fast but sharp style so it was hard to get a full wide shot of the stage and grasp the atmosphere, but I feel the filmmakers did just fine with the camera placement and direction, also props to the road crew who made it all happen on tour, and in my limited experience of watching recorded performances I can't complain. I truthfully did expect a good mix or even more emphasis on storyline but the bits we did get, showed off the humor that the band is well known for and even dare I say beautifully introspective. Easily the best part of the movie is Emeritus talking to his biological Papa (my favorite of them all just for the record) about very existential topics, who runs the show, what happens after you die, typical mysteries of life stuff but the response he gets back is nothing short of wise and it's a belief I've held for a long time and has only been reinforced since seeing this. It's very insightfully written and worded to where anyone can grasp it, to crudely summarize you can't worry about the past or fret over the future and what matter is right here right now. It's not in your face but that message pervades the whole film, to just live to the best of your ability. It certainly made my heart soar during those parts. And yeah I'll admit, a tear was shed during one of the songs so hey let's talk about them. The setlist for the concert was very very good, representing all 5 albums the group has released with a good portion of my favorites like Miasma, Respite On The Spitalfields, Call Me Little Sunshine, Kiss The Go-Goat, and If You Have Ghost which was the standout live performance for me hands down and got me emotional. But holy mackerel was it completely awesome to hear all those tracks with proper theater sound equipment. Feet were tapping, lyrics were lip synced, it was a good time even though the atmosphere of the screening room was more movie than concert but fun regardless. It was great to see so many people decked out in merch and having a real good time with the film. I mean it's about as niche as you can get when you break it down, but Ghost has a lot of fans worldwide and continues to grow today. Hell I've only been a fan since October of 2022 but it's top two bands for me! So I can't recommend it for everyone, I don't think I can even recommend it to a new fan just starting out to avoid confusion on the plot parts, I just wanted an excuse to gush about some great music and give another review to make up for last week. I know some fans would question the existence of a recorded concert packaged as a movie but considering I had to wait about 4 to 5 years to own The Phantom Of The Opera musical on DVD, that point is moot. I give it 4 stars, 9/10!

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