Concert Review: Holy Ghost! Turned Music Hall of Williamsburg Into A Disco Spaceship

Holy Ghost! did back to back sold out shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and transformed the Brooklyn hotspot into a disco spaceship. With huge rocket-like light boards behind them, the audience felt like a pack of Trekkies entering the Enterprise. Like Kirk to our Spock, lead singer Nick Milihiser dazzled the crowd’s logic by surprisingly reviving a genre that had been declared dead: disco.

Dumb Disco Ideas

// had been proclaimed dead for quite some time, but, like Lazarus, was revived by the Holy Ghost!. I, personally, believe the genre was killed by people who refused to “boogie” and “groove” as it is a music that demands rhythm, which is what Holy Ghost gave in its performance at MHOW. While on record the duo goes for a synth-pop/ 80’s techno “jam”, for some reason, the disco elements of their sounds glistened like a disco ball revolving and reflecting light upon listeners. There was no denying the urge to dance that the duo especially sparked in concert. While their music can be considered “dance-worthy” on record, in concert it transforms into a “dance-must”: as if the only way you get in to their show is through movement of body and soul. My surprise at seeing how much more vivacious their music appeared live, than in album, was not in negativity but in awe that something so naturally lively could be amplified even more. Yet, when you spark Trek references through your set and seemingly “lazered” music compositions, you are bound to further a bout of creative escapism in viewers’ minds.

Call me obsessive but I could not keep my eyes of the “trek-board” behind Holy Ghost! or the vibrant lighting that pushed their disco-pop into the future. Synths are typical of pop/ mainstream music, and are not, anymore, so easily associated with futurism. Previously, digitized beats were used to give music a sense of traveling forward, but, by now, the present is the future and adding computerized rhythms has become common. Therefore, by bringing the seemingly “dead” disco and reviving it with modern pop, Holy Ghost achieved the sense of futurism and advancement that every artist seeks. Combining their literal set with their musical accomplishment made the night feel different compared to other concerts. Every crowd member felt like there was no other Holy Ghost! in concert or artist that could impress their viewers with a sound and show that appeared forward in its backwardness. For however much they scrap and scale their music with rhythms that seem from past times, Holy Ghost! manages to sound like future musics to come. Moreover, Nick Milihiser appears like the timeless front-man.

There is something very straight-forward about Milihiser’s performance style. He approaches  his songs as if they were apart of his nature. I cannot even call his stage presence casual or effortless because those terms still come off too harsh for the ease he brings to audiences. Though Holy Ghost! makes music that builds listeners’ dreams through technological sounds and lyrics that feel like they came from a humanoid, the tranquility of Milhiser’s performance is a perfect foundation for the duo’s eagerness to makes people give in to their present music/ spiritual moment. From beginning to end, Holy Ghost gives a concert that, no matter what “time-frame” it sonically travels, feels like a frozen instant of time. No one in the audience was thinking of any thing, person, or place beyond the musings of Holy Ghost and the walking flame that is Milihiser’s vocals. He sings like a lighter; one vocal flick and he gives you the flame you need to be the fire you want to be. This alone is a good enough reason to check out Holy Ghost’s January 21 concert in Denver’s Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox (DJ SET). For More Information On Holy Ghost Click Here.