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I began the weekend’s festivities Saturday night, battling over parking with the cursed throngs of Philadelphia International Auto Show-goers, arriving just as Alabama Thunderpussy finished up and Cephalic Carnage prepared to take the stage. Neither of those bands ever really piqued my interest, so their antics merely served as mild amusement while I awaited the mighty Mastodon, whose Troy Sanders sports one of the greatest metal faces I’ve ever seen as he bellows through their punishing, one-syllable-at-a-time lyrical repertoire. That I had any opportunity to see said metal face was lucky indeed, as my view of the band was obstructed through much of their set by not one but two seven-foot-tall women. Still, whole amazon tribes would not stop the metal assault from penetrating me; they were eventually shuffled out of my way by the inevitable pit-induced crowd sway. And then came Neurosis. I’ve missed their shows on a number of occasions since I was first made aware of their existence about eight years ago, and they were kind enough to consolidate the intensity of all those missed shows for my initiation. Were it not for the giggly stoner dipshits that flanked my left, I might not have been so sure the world wasn’t ending. I’d have liked to check out 27 at the after-party up in the Balcony, but there just is no following Neurosis.

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