Ghost were forced to cut their headline set at Hellfest short last night (June 18) after Tobias Forge suffered throat problems.
The band had completed 17th track Dance Macabre in France when the performance ended in an explosion of confetti. In recent months the set has usually consisted of at least 20 songs.
“My voice is completely fucked,” Forge, aka Papa Emeritus, is seen telling the audience in the video clip below, after having put his hand to his throat. “I cannot take one other song.”
It meant they left the stage without playing crowdpleaser Square Hammer. But the show had earlier included their debut of the track Griftwood from fifth album Impera, released in March.
The festival finale fireworks had earlier been cancelled due to the French heatwave, with the associated drought increasing the risk of wildfires.
Speaking to RocknFolk ahead of the show, Forge said: “It’s always a little stressful when you have to do just one gig. I love being on tour, because you can easily transfer your emotions. I’ve been home for several weeks now and suddenly I have to do a show.
“So I’m like, ‘How do we do this again? Do I remember the songs?’ But it will be fine. I’m more worried about the heat!”
He explained why the French festival had become so important to Ghost: “The first time we played Hellfest, we played in a tent. We were a small band at the time and we played in small places. Then the next time, we were supposed to perform in a bigger tent, but at midday we were offered to swap places with Danzig.
“Now we’re headlining a party, but we’ve played on the same stage twice already.”
Ghost hit the road again in North America in August.