With song titles like “Touch My Tooter,” “The
H.I.V. Song” and “Booze Me Up and Get Me High,”
Ween will forever find it difficult to be taken seriously. Gene and
Dean Ween know this to be true, taking their music to silly
extremes (not brainless, just silly) and still surviving 20 years
without bowing to anyone but their demon god Boognish and whatever
their drug of choice is at the time. Yet, while Ween’s
musical ability have been overlooked in the studio, including their
latest record, Quebec, the live show stands as an affront to anyone
who doubts their talent.
On the last date of their American tour, the New Jersey boys
somehow overcame the numb feeling of a half-empty State Theatre and
a too-quiet, poorly-mixed sound. While the guys have lamented the
label of jam band, spotlight solos for Dean Ween on guitar and
keyboard-drum interplays made it seem worthy. Phish’s
occasional cover of Ween’s “Roses are Free” makes
the tag stick, and Ween’s acknowledgment of Trey and Co.
before playing “Roses,” the adequately-played low-point
of the show, makes it even harder. A three-hour show might be the
nail in the coffin.
Yet, after an hour of sufficient performing, something kicked
in. Without the quality production of the albums, songs lost some
of their detailed uniqueness, but as soon as the funk of
“Voodoo Lady” almost became tiresome Gene busted into
his tender Prince impersonation on the Purple One’s
“Kiss” before sliding right back into the
“boogie-oogies” of “Voodoo.”
Country-western tracks like “Piss up a Rope” also
played more naturally in the Ween “extended version”
atmosphere. A keyboard-heavy cover of Led Zeppelin’s
“All of My Love” proved the most fun of the evening,
cementing Ween’s display of talent and letting Gene and Dean
show off their vocal and guitar chops under the guise of a
solo-prone band that never worried about the jam tag.
here to view a slideshow of pics from the concert.