So, How Was Ween?


Firstly I’d never been to D.A.R. Constitution Hall. You know what DAR stands for? Well they stand for “God, Home, and Country. That’s what they stand for. But the letters herein are for Daughters of the American Revolution®. No shit. Founded in 1890. Not to be confused with S.C.V. of course. No, not the world famous Santa Clara Vanguard although I knew that S.C.V. first. No that’s the Sons of Confederate Veterans (“…preserving the history and legacy of these heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause”). No shit I looked it up.

So finally saw a show at D.A.R. Constitution Hall. After living in D.C. for nearly 16 years this was my first show at D.A.R. OK. Good. Check that off. Done. And after listening to Ween for nearly a decade I finally saw a The Brothers Ween concert. Full disclosure: I am not a Ween expert nor should anyone believe me to be. I'm still learning the context.

The first note in my book is, “morose.” That’s how the show started. Kind of dark. Kind of distracted. I actually wondered if they were just starting a tour or (and) had a big bandfight before the show. Or an intervention. Or maybe some “suit from the label” (SFTL) showed up with a bill for that fat bus out back.

On keyboards, Glenn McClelland was solid all night. A pro’s pro. Low key, clean as a whistle, and adds more than he takes.

On bass was Dave Dreiwitz. Sure he’s good but his timing was not only awful the first third of the show (and it makes a difference on bass) but that shit was downright distracting. Goddamn tic-bomb early.

Claude “Jimmy Wilson” Coleman Jr. played the drums. He’s a pretty good player but he played with petulance last evening. What? Yes. Petulance (I looked it up). He acted bored. He dropped sticks (and not because he’s an ex-cripple but because he was fucking around – we used to call these showoff know-it-alls “cheese” – Claude was cheese last night), and he acted as if he was annoyed to be playing the same old songs again. Like I said, maybe there was a bandfight or something. I was kind of freaked out by Claude though. I don't know if he drums like he does as a result of his accident but he's mostly a left-handed drummer playing on a right -handed set. Fucked me up kind of. I said, “What he lacks in skills he makes up for in enthusiasm.” Claude was cocaine to Dave's slop sauce.

Aaron “Gene” Freeman has killed his body. He’s my age and looks to be at least 55 and about at the end of his span. The post-rehab era isn't suiting him so well. He did his gig though and I respect that. But shit if he lives to be really 55. I didn’t like that for some of the older songs he’d revert to the “voices” of that era. The GodWeenSatan Scotchgard™ voice is pretty out of context in 2008, for example.

Lastly, Mickey was great. Simply put: Great. Let me make this clear again: Great. There was a four song run mid-show (see below) where I screamed, "guitar fucking hero” because I was kind of blown away and it was the guitars that was doing it. It was at that point that I wanted to either play guitar or tour again.

Although there were some fairly serious timing errors and lack of focus early (by the entire band save Aaron) Mickey seemed to be together, barefoot and all.

I'm guessing this show is the beginning of big tour. I get it. It'll be different in a week/month/year.

And I am very glad to have seen Ween though. Lots of dudes. Dedicated following. I do think the venue was too big. Neither intimate nor sold out. No banter. No goofiness. Just a show.
Annotated Set List:

Exactly Where I’m At
Pork Roll Egg & Cheese
Spinal Meningitis
Bananas & Blow
Learning to Love
Voodoo Lady*
Back to Basom*
With My Own Bare Hands*
Take Me Away
Transdermal Celebration
Waving My Dick in the Wind
Touch My Tooter
I’ve Got to Put the Hammer Down
Buckingham Green**
Your Party**
Beacon Light**
Johnny on the Spot**
Roses are Free**
The Mollusk
Did You See Me?
Ocean Man
Doctor Rock


Mr. Richard Smoker
Miser Would You Please Help My Pony
Stroker Ace***
You Fucked Up***
God bless Ween even if it was just one of those shows.

* Hot run #1 concluding with a dense, nasty, guitar-mazing With My Own Bare Hands.
** Only Your Party slowed this amazing run down. Beacon Light into Johnny On The Spot was fucking wondrous. Spirtwalker killed that buzz, but ya' gotta rest sometime.
*** They closed the show with the class and dignity of "You fucked up you stupid Nazi whore.