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jointOkay, fine — I’ll admit it: I’m on a non-weed kick. Or, lemme correct that — I’m on a non-weed buying kick. ‘Cause I’m still down to smoke from time to time but I get really compulsive about le ganj, and if me have a bag in me clutches, ima puffaleel every day of the week….which is all well and good in theory (not really), but seriously I’ve been doing that for way too long and I need to get ahold of myself before my brain dwindles down to a scant shred and I can’t properly form a sentence (let alone impart my wisdom to the youth of America). Will power, shmill power — that concept doesn’t really come into play when th’erb attaches itself to your lungs like black venomous goo on Spiderman.

And furthermore, in conjunction with all the painkillers I’ve been ingesting recently, it’s hard to drink whiskey AND smoke weed AND stand upright/keep my eyes open sometimes….so puffing before concerts and social outings has dropped to an all-time minimum for me lately. I don’t mind all that much, usually don’t miss the ol’girl, but shit yo, certain concerts have really been lacking for me lately, and I’m forced to wonder if smoking before a band goes onstage actually does make all the difference sometimes.

Is “stoner” rock/metal not even worth it without the pot?

I’m pontificating on this point because at last week’s Isis show at the Gestapo-ish Fillmore at Irving Plaza in Manhattanstein, I found the band to come off a bit more repetitive and, well, boring than in the past, and as a huge fan….I can’t help but wonder why.

Let me begin by saying that the two opening bands weren’t helping in the least — Brooklyn’s own Tombs plays hookless noise-metal, but without the groove, chops, or creativity that genre demands I was thoroughly unenthused (again). And Chicago’s Pelican, who just a couple years ago I thought might be making a comeback into awesomeness, continued the night into Yawnsville with guitar-driven instrumetal post-post (minus the solos or melodies that one might expect): a singer-less band without interesting enough music to captivate instrumentally. And so pumped I was not after these two snoozers.

isisWhich brings me to Isis: a prolific, impressive band for well over a decade now, and amazing the last time I saw them just a few years ago……but this time around, early into the set I found the band’s shtick to be pretty repetitive. A lot of that had to do with almost every song sitting in the same slow tempo, with what seemed like very similar structures throughout. But how could such a revolutionary band come off as seeming to play the same song over and over again?

Next time I go to see Isis — ’cause they are indeed an awesome band and I am hardly throwing in the towel on them — I will most definitely be smoking beforehand. I just wish I didn’t have to.


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