Pentagram - LIVE: The Garage, London 2011

40th Anniversary Tour
December 9 (20:50-22:00)
Capacity 630

Celebrating their 40th anniversary is one thing, but in those 40 years Pentagram have never been able to play in London. That fact alone ensured a good turn out for this first ever UK show, and the quality of new album Last Rites and reunion of front-man Bobby Liebling with guitarist Victor Griffin also contributed to the large audience at The Garage.

The doors opening and first support band Purson taking the stage were too close together, and with the size of the crowd queuing outside, many people missed most or all of Purson's short set. But by the time Horisont came on, a band who are struggling to be heard in a retro rock arena dominated at the moment by Graveyard, the room was well on its way to being full.

Horisont enjoyed a warm reception, but it was nothing compared to the moment Liebling, Griffin and co. walked out. Gauging Griffin's reaction behind his permanently-affixed sunglasses was difficult, but Liebling was visibly bowled over by the capacity crowd's deafening roar. Before even starting Treat Me Right from the new disc he took a few moments to soak up the atmosphere, telling everyone he'd been dreaming of playing London for so long he couldn't believe he was finally getting to do it. The sincerity of the statement was never in question.

And as soon as Victor began the Treat Me Right riff, it was clear the sound wouldn't be a problem either. Devastatingly heavy and crystal clear, Liebling in fine voice himself, the band put together the perfect combination of the biggest, toughest songs from Last Rites, and as many of their classic fan-favourites as they could fit in to what was actually a rather short set, enforced by an early curfew. Not that anyone seemed to notice. And the reason for that was the simply towering performances from Liebling and Griffen. Both men are immense in the live arena; Liebling instantly engaging, Griffin tough and aggressive.

The response and the performance tonight more or less makes it certain that Pentragram will be back in the UK soon. Bobby said they'd like to do several dates next time, rather than just a London show, so chances are plans are already in motion. After the ridiculous amount of time that's passed before they could play this first show, they now deserve to get as many dates as possible, as often as possible.

“ simply towering performances ”

Setlist: Treat Me Right / Forever My Queen / Review Your Choices / Sign of The Wolf (Pentagram) / Vampyre Love / Into The Ground / Death Row / All Your Sins / Call The Man / Relentless > Nothing Left / Dying World // Wartime / When The Screams Come

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2011, Doom Metal, Gigs, ,

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