Sleep headlined the 2nd annual 35 Denton Festival in Denton, TX 3-8-13. Denton is a college town (home of UNT Mean Green) about 30 minutes North of Dallas/Fort Worth, kind of a far north DFW suburb these days since it's totally built out with suburbs from Dallas up to Denton on the East side. Sleep played the big main stage and I'll just say they killed it. The fest is being held the weekend before the music portion of the SXSW Festival and is an attempt I think to get a lot of the artists playing there to stop in North Texas. It's kind of working but they still don't have a lot of big names stopping in yet - Sleep of course is big and a surprise in a totally hipster, but music geek college town. Rain was trying to come in, but it stayed away thankfully. Was a bit chilly out but not cold - low 60s.
The two main stages last night had Brutal Juice, Roky Erickson (13th Floor Elevators fame and Texas psychedelic rock legend), and of course Sleep. We caught some of Roky, had a killer band and sounded really good. Left that area so we could scan the Sleep merch and get a good place in front the big stage. Turn out was good, probably well over 2000 people would be my guess. Not huge, but very respectable. I'm not good at estimating crowd size so it could have more or less. Merch was a mess like most Sleep shows (and like the other one I went to and what I've heard), limited selection, and limited sizes. By 7:30PM, all over XXL sizes were gone, I am an XL and even XL sizes were gone in some of the designs.
Big complaint, the college hipsters only new Dragonaut and it was like Metallica playing Enter Sandman, they all went nuts and started pushing up to the front. Even a little moshing broke out by us. Really? It's a freaking Sleep show, not Slayer.
Sleep played about 20 minutes of Dopesmoker right out of the gate which was awesome. They later played an additional part of it. But the big surprise, and owning both Dopesmoker and Holy Mountain were a number of songs I had never heard before and the general consensus was that there were at least 2 brand new songs played, and not the new ones they were playing a couple of years ago - and they were AWESOME. Kind of mix of Dopesmoker heaviness but with some of the quiet parts like on Holy Mountain or more like Om might do. They did a little over an hour and half set, played what you would expect them to and again some new stuff. Great show - Al was pissed about something but didn't let affect his performance. Matt seemed more serious and didn't smile as much as he did when I saw them in Austin in 2010. And side note, since he stopped drinking, he put on a little weight and still pulled of the no shirt Hesher look. Gear freak notes: Matt played 2 regular JCM800s and one of the dual channel JCM800s and a white Les Paul the entire time. Al played his fireglo Ric and Ampegs. There was an Electric Amp Power unit on top of a Marshall cab on Matt's side, not sure who was using it.
Stage before the show
Some friends at the show - the Orthodox Fuzz, Wo Fat, and hint of Death/FTW guys
Not sure if this video will play, I'll upload to YouTube laterhttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151517418762165&l=2830961923618074304