Sleep dooms-out Stage AE Pittsburgh

They have been described as ‘the ultimate stoner band’, but that may not be giving the San Jose trio enough credit.  Evolving from the band Asbestosdeath, Sleep started to make its mark around 1991.  The band established by vocalist/bassist Al Cisneros and has traded a few members over the years, much having to do with record company disputes which led to them disbanding in 1995.  What makes seeing Sleep so special at this point is the rarity with which they have played live for so many years.  Even though they played a few shows pre 2009, it was really that year that saw the band get back into playing live sporadically.  In April of this year, Third Man Records released The Sciences, their first album in almost 20 years.

So, when Al Cisneros, Matt Pike (guitar), and Jason Roeder (drums) hit the lights on Stage AE Pittsburgh it was met with mass enthusiasm.  The crowd of roughly 1200 witnessed seven songs that can only be described as taking the origins of Black Sabbath and blending it with Type O Negative and copious amounts of weed.  The lack of extravagant lighting, zero backdrop, and concentration on just playing was refreshing and a poignant message to poser bands.  Sleep is the real deal, doomy, sludgy, syrupy, and hypnotic.  The fans of the band are seriously devoted and happy to wait in a seriously long line for merchandise that was very reasonably priced for once ($25 for a tee).  Often touted by music nerds and metalheads alike, the band deserves more recognition than it gets, but somehow their “underground” status lends to their credibility and likeability.  If you dig bands like Sabbath, Monolord, Red Fang, The Melvins, High on Fries, Kyuss and the like, well be sure to listen to these guys and hope they get back to town soon.

All photos AWeldingphoto ©2018

Opener Weather Warlock is actually a machine and not a person.   The machine, which can be seen below (at least it’s stage presence), ‘is one in a series of custom-built weather-controlled analog synthesizers. Outdoor sensors detect changes in sunlight, wind, precipitation, and temperature, with output becoming particularly dynamic during periods of rapid meteorological change, such as sunrise and sunset. At Wave Farm, Weather Warlock serves as a stand-alone installation and generative composition, an online stream, as well as an interactive instrument’.  The man operating the machine and part way through the set dressed much like a Yeti is known as Quintron.  To learn more about what it is really all about you should really visit  Really the only way to explain it is to witness it for yourself because it is never the same experience and all depends on the weather, what Quintronic fiddles around with on the knobs, and the occasional pounding of a few strings on a Warlock BC bass.  Although some of the crowd retreated to the bar, the merch stand, or the bathroom, many actually stood and watched in curiosity and gave a resounding applause at the end of the 39-minute set.

All photos AWeldingphoto ©2018