Ghost & Amon Amarth 09.05.23

Ghost with special guest Amon Amarthat Toyota Music Factory

By Matt Stubbs of the Jerry Jonestown Massacre Podcast Show

Photography by Dustin Schneider

On September 5th, 2023 metal and theatrics blended and dazzled DFW at the Toyota Music Factory, in Irving, Texas. This was a two-act bill in the hot and humid evening. Sweat, horns, and skulls were fully displayed by metal fans of all ages. I still haven’t showered because I want to keep the Viking spirits on me as long as I can. Or as long as my better half has a sinus infection and can’t smell. 

Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band that has been around since the early 90’s. This was the first time I’ve seen this Swedish low-tuned band. Amon Amarth is a brutal and powerful metal force. Their set felt like a celebration in a gutted monastery just inland. Their seafaring vessel was docked closely by. In fact, it was parked right on the Irving, Texas. stage. They even brought a pair of huge glowy-eyed Ancient Viking statues, and two of their Viking warrior buddies. Both of them with shields, one wielding a heavy battle ax and the other slinging a gnarly sword. Things got rowdy at one point as the two warriors battled out, while the band played on. The Great Heathen Army knew every word of the band’s glorious anthems. The ultimate highlight of the Viking 5 piece performance was, “Raise Your Horns”. My ears are still ringing from the blazing raid bestowed upon me. I didn’t know a lesson in Norse mythology would be so fun and intense. My lats are killing me from all the rowing I did with the loyal Amon Amarth fans. After I shower, I’ll be icing my back with echoes of “Heidrun” ringing in my ears. That’s a song about a goat. 

Ghost, headlined this grand humid night of theatrics. I’ve seen this Swedish act a few times. Each time has been a different experience, with a different look and style. This was the most flamboyant version of Papa Emeritus that I’ve witnessed. The set had a touch of Rocky Horror Picture Show with anonymous steampunk players. This two-time Grammy award-winning rock band formed in 2006 and have been constantly evolving their style of heavy metal. Ghost B.C. had a “boyband” aura to them on Tuesday night. This pop band could easily get a Disney streaming series gifted to them if the mouse ears ever decide to dive into the occult musical variety show. The “Nameless Ghouls” have also evolved with the band. Now, instead of a following of old denim bearded wizard heshers, they have a following of face-painted teenagers. The scent of Ariana Grande perfume was strong around me. Ghost’s Satanic-themed classic rock and metal performance had the irony of a Spinal Tap show. Their amps were definitely cranked up to 11. Ghost had the young and old audience singing along to “Rats”, and all their other hits. The music pavilion staff are probably still cleaning up the white and black sweaty makeup smeared all over the walls and floors. Tobias Forge has Ghost performing like a well-tuned money-making machine. His passion for his papal persona was on full display. 

Tuesday night was a great evening of theatrical entertainment at Irving’s Toyota Music Factory. This was a fun show to cover. Now, I need to take a shower and wash all this face paint and Ariana Grande perfume off. Meh, I’ll do that another time. I have to ice my lats tonight.