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Pentagram - Live At The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY, June 19th, 2019.

    Ian Jane

  • Pentagram - Live At The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY, June 19th, 2019.

    Hey, remember concerts? Concerts were fun. Covid-19 has kind of completely fucked concerts for the time being, who knows when we'll get to enjoy live music again, so with that in mind, why not relive past glories through pictures of concerts from days past? Let's do it!

    A mere seven months ago (it seems like an eternity at this point), the modern day version of Pentagram cruised through Brooklyn to play a show on June 19th at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg. This was kind of a big deal because this small American tour was the first to take place since the band's infamous frontman, one Bobby Liebling, had been arrested and gone to jail in 20176. Why? Well, he plead guilty to "abuse and neglect of a vulnerable adult custodian" and was sentenced to a year and a half at the Montgomery County Prison in Maryland for what has widely been alleged to have been in response to beating up his mother, likely for drug money. Have you seen the documentary on his life, Last Days Here? If not, see it. It'll clear a lot of this up for you. As talented as Liebling is, he's a very troubled individual who has dealt with substance abuse issues for decades.

    This, however, was being billed as 'the return of Bobby Liebling' and that, to me at least, meant that we'd have a lean, mean vocalist no longer held back by smack, booze or crack or… whatever drug Liebling may have fallen in love with at any given time. Surprisingly enough, given the man's tumultuous history, it very much seemed like that billing was correct. Bobby showed up on stage no more than five minutes after the scheduled start time looking as good as a man like Bobby Liebling can look. Yes, the years, and drugs, may not have been so kind to the guy but he's still standing and still singing and this night, at least, the guy sounded fantastic. He sounded good enough that, during their set, it made you think about what could have been. The initial version of Pentagram dates back to 1971, so we're dealing with an act that's been around almost a half century at this point, and while they could and should have been able to ride the first wave of heavy metal success brought about by bands like Blue Cheer, Randy Holden's initial Population II album and, of course, the mighty Black Sabbath, the big time eluded them and even now they play clubs rather than concert halls. How much of that is Liebling's fault? Realistically, most of it, but the night he hit Brooklyn in 2017 the guy was in prime condition, never missing a beat and front an energetic and aggressive band seemingly made up of guys roughly half his age (the original Pentagram lineup is, sadly, long gone).

    The main set consisted of a greatest hits set, more or less, comprised of:

    Wheel Of Fortune / Starlady / The Ghoul / Frustration / When The Screams Come / Sign Of The Wolf (Pentagram) / Curious Volume / Devil's Playground / Dying World / Relentless

    But after that, we were treated to an encore consisting of four legitimate Pentagram classics:

    Last Days Here / Be Forewarned / Forever My Queen / 20 Buck Spin

    No complaints. The set list was killer, the band was tight and Liebling, clearly the wild card in all of this given his history, was giving his all. Yes, he's older now but his voice has held up surprisingly well given all that he'd been through and the man does not lack in dramatic ability, scowling at the audience throughout the night, striking strange poses and adding a load of very welcome theatrical flair to the performance that made it a whole lot of fun.

    Below are a few murky, beer-fueled pictures taken on a cell phone to document the night and hey, if you want to give the whole set a listen, dig the YouTube link after the stills!

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