Saturday's Ween show: Train wreck or concert bliss?
Considering that the guys in Ween, who are featured in Saturday's Times, built part of their legend on their alleged fondness for huffing household cleansers and the like, they have never been known for their grimly sober stage shows. In fact, one of the last times we saw Ween in concert some five or so years ago, a bottle of Jack barely left the vicinity of Dean Ween's puffy lips. But it didn't seem to negatively affect the proceedings -- Ween played for nearly three hours that night, including many sumptuous cuts off of "The Mollusk," one of their most accomplished works.
If only the crowd in Vancouver, Canada, had gotten so lucky the other night. According to several blog reports, their concert on Jan. 24 was a sorrowful catastrophe, with Gene Ween (nee Aaron Freeman) so wasted that the rest of the band eventually abandoned him on stage, but only after he interrupted songs with extraneous guitar tunings, botched lyrics and weird vocals, and sometimes simply staggered around amuck. There's video floating around but we don't want to be responsible for spreading it because we still smile (in spite of our blushing at some of the lyrics) when we hear the raunch country classic "... Up a Rope." Wait, actually, we don't have those kinds of scruples. What the hell, here's the video.
According to reports from the next nights in Seattle and Portland, Ore., Ween got its act together quick and turned in stellar shows that left the fans blissed out enough to flood the band's Facebook page with accolades. So what will we have in store for us Saturday when they come to the Wiltern? Let's hope the business side of Ween's righteous mullet-friendly party-rock. In the meantime, read our Saturday story on how a band with no new album but a devoted legion of fans manages to sell out the Wiltern.
-- Margaret Wappler
Photo credit: Jimmy McGinley