^mm^ Sleep took the stage at 10:45 pm, exactly at the appointed time posted by the venue. All your anecdotal and empirical evidence about stoners being habitually late just went POOF, up in smoke.

^mm^ Love ya, Matt Pike, but put your shirt back on.

^mm^ It’s apparent from the first 10 seconds of Sleep’s set that their girthful sound will render useless your earplugs. The trio’s sound is all-encompassing and profoundly punishing, like being double-penetrated in your skull by sperm whale penises made out of bass frequencies.

^mm^ Thankful that the aroma of weed camouflages the vaunted metal-show body-odor factor.

^mm^ Sleep are so badass, they don’t need the devil as a crutch. Satan is (dia)bollocks, anyway.

^mm^ Stoner metal is like gabber, only slowed down by 300 percent.

^mm^ Wearing a light-brown suede jacket among a throng of black-T-shirted and black-hoodied metal heads made me feel like a strident exhibitionist, which is 180º from what I actually am. I felt suspicious eyeballs on me all night. Who is this interloper with the audacity to deviate from the accepted form of attire? I skulked in Neumos’ back corner, in front of the massive fan, taking notes like a goddamn pariah.

^mm^ Sleep’s metal is at once introspective and escapist, intellectual and brutalist. Listening to it is like getting your ass thoroughly kicked by a PhD student of arcane philosophies.

^mm^ Al Cisneros’ bass tones violated the laws of physics. I could feel my brain curdling, my kidneys wincing, my heart stuttering. In my experience, only mid-’80s Swans, My Bloody Valentine, Sunn O))), and Glenn Branca have harnessed this sort of crushing pressure. Marquis de Sade would love Sleep.

^mm^ Seriously, how did everyone in this club not end up in the hospital?

^mm^ I had to wave the white flag at 12:12, after about nine pulverizing songs. (How were those last 33 minutes?) I no longer had confidence I could keep all of my internal organs from imploding nor maintain control of my sphincter. As I staggered out of Neumos, my head felt like it was swathed in an asbestos turban. Walking home on Pine Street, I noticed an ambulance roar by me, but I barely heard it.

(No video footage of this show exists, as Sleep prohibited cameras from being used. Sleep play Neumos again tonight. Godspeed.)