LIVE REVIEW: The Ghost Inside, Senses Fail, Dragged Under, SWG3, Glasgow, 31/03/2023
Photo Credit: Abbi Draper (3rd April 2023 – Rock City, Nottingham)
‘Glasgow, let’s gooooo,’ growls frontman Jonathan Vigil with his trademark guttural vocal which is so low it is as if it is emerging from the very pit of his soul.
The packed crowd in Glasgow’s sparsely decorated but acoustically superb SWG3 warehouse style venue need no second invitation as they begin to rise and fall in perfect unison as they welcome The Ghost Inside to the stage.
Heads flinging back and forth, feet attempting to stomp a mud hole in the concrete and fists piercing the air above them as the band burst into Avalanche and the cascading falling mounds of noise wash over a crowd who are baying for more. There is literally no pausing for breath as The Ghost Inside stomps on the throttle at breakneck pace with hardly time for a word between songs. The Outcast, The Great Unknown, Pressure Point and One Choice keep the crowd gripped by the throat – and the ears – especially in his haunting lyric on the latter as he roars ‘I survive … I don’t surrender’. There is not a wasted second by the band on stage but that’s no surprise for a band who have fought back so impressively and courageously from tragedy to return to the top of their game, and the metalcore genre.
It is hard to believe that this band dominating the stage and with so many songs packed with lyrics and messages of determination and hope are the same band which suffered a life changing tour bus accident in the past which left their drummer Andrew Tkaczyk in a coma and having to have a leg amputated and Vigil suffered a pair of broken ankles which meant he had to learn to walk again. Guitarist Zach Johnson also lost several toes and went under the knife more than a dozen times.
Mercy, Dark Horse and White Light keep the energy topped up before the set closes with Aftermath but of course there will be an encore – there has to be and this crowd make their feelings clear that they ain’t leaving without the band giving them a little more. Vigil and co return to ear splitting approval with a hat-trick of songs beginning with 1333 which starts off slow and brooding before erupting into a cascade of riffs heavier than lead. Still Alive follows with its thrash style riffs before the band ending their night’s work with the heavy, fast and emotional Engine 45 from their 2012 record Get What You Give. This set closer reflects on the impact of the crash as the song’s main breakdown is preceded by Vigil powerfully singing ‘I don’t have it in me to sing of defeat / Triumph over tragedy.’ This triple dose of metal majesty ensures they satisfy the metalcore needs of the jubilant Glaswegian crowd who head into the night with wide smiles, ringing ears and that warm glow in your soul that only live music, and a band at the top of their craft, can supply.
The Ghost Inside are a band who seamlessly blend the best parts of metal and hardcore and on this form, they are a band who are at the top of their live game at the same time. 7.5/10
Written By: Eric Mackinnon