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Photos Sleep uleash two hour set of feedback laden doom on Day 2 of Psycho California

8 June 2015 No Comment


Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep
Psycho California Festival
05-16-2015 @ The Observatory
Santa Ana, CA
Photos & Review: Jeff Longo

Day 1 Recap/Photos: Eyehategod, Bedemon, Cave-In, Old Man Gloom, Bell Witch, and Municipal Waste
Day 2 Recap/Photos: Sleep, Kylesa, Pallbearer, Earth, and The Shrine
Day 3 Recap/Photos: Pentagram, OM, Truckfighters, Earthless, Bongzilla, Tombs, and The Well

A sense of excitement permeated throughout Psycho California Festival, held at the Observatory in Santa Ana, as the crowd packed into the main room for Saturday headliners San Jose stoner doom pioneers Sleep. Thick clouds of weed swelled in the air above the crowd like an approaching storm of feedback laden doom. The lights dimmed as bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros walked onto the stage signaling the start of the set. At first it appeared that Al was tuning his Rickenbacker and the crowd cheered.

This quickly went from elation to confusion as Al, channeling his best Andy Kaufman, spent the next six minutes, yes six minutes, playing what looked like an entire song on his bass, alone on stage, with no sound. This of course went over everyone’s head as they were all completely stoned by this point. Suddenly, cutting through the cloud of fog, the trademark down-tuned guitar of legendary Matt Pike (Sleep, High on Fire) thundered through the room as the power trio launched into 1993 title track Holy Mountain. A sludge drenched, doom masterpiece of Toni Immoni riff worship played at quarter speed, a perfect cadence to the vocal lines “I believe the signs of the reptile master.” and “Look onto the rays of the new stoner sun rising.”

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

A photographer next to me in the photo pit immediately sparked a joint as Matt struck the infamous opening notes from 1996 stoner doom masterpiece Dopesmoker. The hessian warriors belted out the first 21 minutes of the 72 minute opus, subtitled Proceeds the Weedian (Nazareth), centered around a variation of the same riff, which tells the tale of a stoner caravan exploring space and time through marijuana. Arguably the best opening lyrics of all time “Drop out of life with bong in hand / follow the smoke toward the riff filled land.”

The near two hour set was an all out audio assault of stoner doom. Sonic Titan was next and lived up to it’s name followed by their newest track The Clarity which sounded amazing live. The crowd went full bananas as the bouncy riff of Dragonaut shook the building as the entire venue did a collective head bang singing along with Al as he chanted hymns of doom instructing us to “Ride the dragon toward the crimson eye.” An epic set turned legendary when following blistering renditions of Aquarian and From Beyond, the trio seamlessly slipped into the last song of the night, Cultivator Improved Morris (I don’t know what the hell that means) a.k.a. the last 14 minutes of Dopesmoker! I stumbled out of the venue completely satisfied and exhausted.

Sleep Setlist:
00:00 – 06:30 silent bass – Al solo
06:30 16:20 Holy Mountain
16:40 – 37:20 Dopesmoker – Proceeds the Weedian (Nazareth)
38:50 – 51:06 Sonic Titan
52:00 – 1:01:50 The Clarity
1:04:15 – 1:10:00 Dragonaut
1:11:18 1:18:45 Aquarian
1:22:10 1:35:26 From Beyond
1:35:26 – 1:49:19 Dopsmoker – Cultivator Improved Morris

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

Sleep - Psycho California Fest

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Day 1 Recap and photo sets: Eyehategod, Bedemon, Cave-In, Old Man Gloom, Bell Witch, and Municipal Waste
Day 2 Recap/Photos: Sleep, Kylesa, Pallbearer, Earth, and The Shrine
Day 3 Recap/Photos: Pentagram, OM, Truckfighters, Earthless, Bongzilla, Tombs, and The Well

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