Live Review, 6/5/12: Sleep Forcefully Exhales at the Fox Theater

By ALEE KARIM

Sleep

Oxbow

Kowloon Walled City

June 5th, 2012

The Fox Theatre

Better than: The rest. And rest. Thankfully.

The San Jose-based metal band Sleep is part of a pre-Internet coterie of bands that gained an astonishing reputation in their absence. For every Soundgarden reuniting to cash in on their earlier notoriety, there's a Jesus Lizard or a Harvey Milk (the Athens, Ga., band, that is) that's discovered a far more cogent groundswell of attention via online communities than they'd enjoyed in their twenties. And so, a rock 'n' roll dream delayed has become just desserts to a slew of hard-working bands who've moved on to child-rearing, day jobs, and (usually) other bands.

That is how an outfit like Sleep — whose swan song, a PR exec's worst nightmare of a stoner riff practical joke, is the hypnotic, lore-establishing hour-long track, “Dopesmoker” — ends up headlining The Fox having released no new material for nearly two decades. All of which begs the question: Is this a good idea?

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