Monday, July 20, 2009

Photo Review: Ween at Rams Head

Photos by Chrissy

This review was tag teamed by eager and excited Ween newbie Mike Caggeso and resident Ween veteran Matt Weinschenk. Photos by the always talented Chrissy.

My brief indoctrination of Ween going into this consisted of listening to seminal album “Chocolate & Cheese” and their hilarious Pizza Hut jingles. I expected a heavy, groovy dirge dripping with something goofy – be it a lyric or a wanky riff. Like, really wanky.

Ween delivered exactly that, but a hundred times over. Ween not only plays its own flavor of everything between metal and country, but they wear a shit-eating grin all the while. I couldn’t help but laugh after every stewy tune, but the kind of chuckle after hearing a well-crafted, well-executed joke.

Credit that to the band’s quarter-century experience. The drum fills thundering under twin guitar solos in “Buckingham Green” were fucking glorious. And Gene Ween is a resilient vocalist – channeling the high pitch of Rush’s Geddy Lee then belting out low, deep groans at the drop of a hat.

Two hours and 40 minutes later, the band wrapped a set list that would make a Guided By Voices fan shudder. It didn’t take long to get Ween, but the sheer ferocity of their live shows makes leads me to think Ween is more accessible live than via your speakers.

Ween has openly stated that they get road weary on tour and after Gene Ween’s health problems cause him to cancel much of his GeneWeen Band tour, I was worried they may not be at the top of their game. But, they certainly delivered last night at Rams Head.

Because of Ween’s genre-hopping style and oddball lyrics, they often get demoted to a “novelty” band, for lack of a better term. But live performances show how hard they rock… they just have fun doing it.

They played a wide-ranging set-list from
GodWeenSatan: The Oneness tunes all the way up to Quebec. At audience request, they played a quick rendition of “Boy’s Club” even though Dean claimed, “We played it once live… And it sucked.” They followed it with my favorite live Ween song, “Buckingham Green,” which is so great in person my non-Ween acquainted friend immediately asked the name of it.

Drummer Claude Coleman amazes me every time, they always pick a killer set-list, and they always deliver on the energy. If you only know Ween from “Push the Little Daisies”, you’ll have a new respect for them if you catch their next show.

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