Thursday, October 29, 2009
Yes, it was almost Halloween when Ween came to town! However it was just a regular old Ween show, which is to say, wildly eclectic and totally rocking.
Gene and Dean Ween (really Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo; their stage names were reportedly inspired by The Ramones) formed the band when they were in 8th grade in New Hope, PA, almost 25 years ago! Needless to say, they've aged quite a bit, especially Gener with his potbelly and grey hair. They've put out around a dozen albums, but never made any attempt at commercial success, relying on word-of-mouth to build a following.
The band is actually a 5-piece, with Glenn McClelland on keys, Dave Dreiwitz on bass, and Claude Coleman on drums, and their music combines eclectic pop and hard rock with irreverent lyrics about anything they can get a laugh out of.
We had a good spot in front of Deaner, where we could get the full effect of his distortion-laden, "face-melting" guitar solos.
The show was at the Lyric Theatre, which holds around a thousand people at full capacity. It was probably only half-full for Ween, but the crowd was totally fired up.
Our friend Jack joined us for the show. Jack and Rob have both been fans of Ween for a long time, but Carley's been slow to warm up to them. However, she really enjoyed them this time, despite the fact that they played her least favorite song ever, Spinal Meningitis.
Ween rarely plays covers, but we got one this time. The first song of the encore was the protest-era classic "Ohio" from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. In a way it was appropriate for them to cover Neil Young, since Deaner's lead guitar style is often reminiscent of Young's Crazy Horse sound. However the political nature of the lyrics seemed really out of place at a Ween show. Nevertheless it seemed to go over quite well with the unsuspecting audience.
They finished the encore with a jammed-out 15-minute version of "Fluffy".
After the final encore, Claude came out and paid respect to the enthusiastic crowd.
As with many of the bands we like to see, the band changes up the setlist from one night to the next. Here's what they played in Oxford:
Take Me Away
Marble Tulip Juicy Tree
Happy Colored Marbles
My Own Bare Hands
Learnin' to Love
Woman and Man
Bananas and Blow
I Don't Want It
Roses are Free
Booze Me Up and Get Me High
You Fucked Up
Ohio (the CSNY song)
A free recording of the show is currently available online at the Internet Archive.
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