Apr 20, 2017

Pentagram / Brant Bjork - Soundstage

By Bob Suehs

 

PENTAGRAM / BRANT BJORK

4/20/17

Baltimore, MD

Soundstage

 On the front door of Baltimore Soundstage a lengthy letter was posted for all patrons to read.  It stated that Pentagram lead singer Bobby Liebling would not be a part of the bands East Coast tour due to drug related illness.  Guitarist Victor Griffin was in charge of handling all vocals.

 When Brant Bjork took the stage the bongs were rattling from excessive distortion, grimy grooves, and Sabbathy tones.  Brant and company look like true 70’s refugees and their music definitely matched.  The crowd was a tad small during their set but it did not matter to the band because they gave it their all and played a strong set of stoner rock that made the crowd happy.  Interesting side note:  yes, this show took place on 4/20 and it was clear that many of the patrons had participated in the days celebration of getting high.  

 During Brant Bjork’s set a strong wind/rain storm popped up which made the back of the venue feel much cooler as opposed to  when the show first started and it was warm.  Initially the weather outside was sunny and in the 70’s, but by the time Brant took the stage it poured rain with strong winds; an immediate 15 degree temperature happened.

 Just before Pentagram took the stage the venue filled in rather nicely and to my surprise a mini mosh pit actually broke out towards the middle of the Pentagram set.  Victor Griffin is a killer guitarist, his guitar tones are clearly Tony Iommi influenced and this was the first time I’d ever seen him perform as Pentagram’s lead singer.

Victor addressed Bobby’s absence during the set by stating, “We can’t tell you how much we appreciate you guys being here, we love it, we love you.  There's obviously an element missing up here but sometimes man, you gotta leave people to their own devices and move on.  It takes a lot to keep this thing running, it’s not always the obvious one you see, that you think that makes that happen. It takes a lot of people behind the scenes.  You guys are the main ones though.  So, let’s forget all of that and let’s rock n roll man! (Video below shows that speech)

 Victor had a small music stand next to him which had all of the lyrics.  His roadie would turn the pages as each song was played, but for the most part Victor seemed to know all of the words and only used the lyric sheets occassionaly.

 Many fans were upset over Bobby’s absence but in a pinch you can’t help but commend the band for soldiering in the face of adversity.  Pentagram sounded great, they delivered a solid performance, and the crowd definitely loved the show.