Ex-GHOST Keyboardist Posts Two Home Videos Of The Band's First US Tour
Ex-Ghost keyboardist Mauro Rubino, better known as Air in the band, exited Ghost in 2016 after five years in the group. Now via his Facebook page, he's posted two home videos of the band's first-ever appearances in the United States circa 2011.
Here are his lengthy explanations for both the videos.
First two gigs on American soil. Part 1
We were invited to play Maryland Deathfest at the end of May 2011 so we also booked the Studio at Webster Hall the day after, 1st of June. We flew over and landed in the heat of NY, tired and hungry, so our agent took us to a Mexican place. I thought he was making fun of us when he recommended a seitan burrito, what do you mean, satan? The day after we woke up at the hotel and I could hear salsa and reggaeton playing down the street and realized we were in a Hispanic neighborhood and had the opportunity to use the little Spanish I know. We stayed there two nights I think, then the Brooklyn band Natur who was going to open for us invited us to their homes in Williamsburg. On the Baltimore gig day we met up with our TM/FOH guy Lewis, he looked like a biker and he drove like one, we'd never been on American roads and wondered what we gotten ourselves into. We found out later that the roads around that area are especially bad. We finally got there and while driving through the suburbs realized that it looked exactly like The Wire. My keyboards were hired for the occasion so I had to get them at the festival, carry them up to the hotel and start to program all the sounds from scratch, so while the others checked out the festival I sat in the hotel room programming keys. The gig started in the worse possible way. We had the backtracks on an iPhone operated by our drummer. Something happened, I don’t know what, but the first word “Lucifer” came in too early so Aksel killed the backtracks and we played the rest of "Con Clavi" without them. Embarrassing start I would say but the rest of the gig went well. Before leaving the day after I wanted to see the Frank Zappa statue since he is one of my big influences and Baltimore being his hometown. We found the place at last, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, but the statue was gone. I found out later that the first statue got stolen right away and that they later replaced it with plastic ones but people steal them as soon as they put one up. Maybe next time.
No pics but some scrappy footage instead.
First two gigs on American soil. Part 2
The Studio at Webster Hall.
The second gig in the US was the Studio situated under the Webster Hall. There were already some fans waiting outside the venue when we arrived. We never had that kind of fans before, they even helped us carry the gear down the stairs to the stage. I used to meet some of them during the years and even at the Brooklyn show 2016. The Studio is a 300 caps, I believe it got slightly overcrowded that night, rumors said there were around 450 people in the room. You access the stage thru a small stair at the front and a speaker was hanging down very low at the top, I’m 6”2 so I had to watch my head on the way up. We had to go thru the crowd to the stage, that could have been a problem but everyone let us through without even touching us. Maybe they were a bit scared of the "satanic Swedes". We started off and the audience went crazy, this was the first time we really met an American audience this close. I remember looking at the crowd thinking that we were here trying to scare them but some of this guys looked pretty frightening. The place was boiling, it was hot as hell and we were sweating profusely and had trouble breathing under the cloaks. Walking off stage I thanked the crowd and next thing BAM! I rammed the speaker with my head and almost blacked out both from the blow and the lack of oxygen and lost my balance. I started to fall off the stage sideways like in slow motion, I even had the time to think “Shit I’ve never fallen off a stage ever and now I’m faaallllii… suddenly this big warm hand picked me up and pushed me back onto the stage. You guys who did it, thank you very much, you saved me from some serious damage that night. That and the response we got during the gig made me realize, American crowds are among the best on the planet.
If you recall, we actually interviewed Ghost during their first trip to the US. Revisit that interview here: