On a damp Tuesday night in New York, Ween played to a capacity crowd at the freshly opened Brooklyn Steel. Added security measures caused 1,800-strong crowd to wrap around the factory-esque venue before the performance, creating a stronger-than-usual sense of pre-show anxiety for the band’s dedicated fans. But once the lines diminished and the show began, that atmosphere quickly dissipated and the audience was reminded why they were there in the first place: the beautiful clusterfuck of musical influences laced with the tongue-in-cheek lyrics and commentary that Ween addicts began worshiping over 30 years ago.
Aaron Freeman, better known as Gene Ween, walked onstage sporting a megaphone as the band launched into “The Stallion, Part 1” 1991’s The Pod. Parental discretion was advised early on as “You Fucked Up” took the second spot of the show and got the rabid fans foaming at the mouth. After “Transdermal Celebration” and “I Gots A Weasel,” “The Golden Eel” got some extra love as the crowd ceremoniously chanted along. Next, the band set the crowd ablaze with their most MTV-approved track “Push th’ Little Daisies,” off of Pure Guava.
Another Pure Guava track came in the form of “Big Jilm” which led to one of the most well-known Ween masterpieces, “Roses Are Free,” which saw Dean Ween (Mickey Melchiondo) render the venue’s “no smoking” policy optional with an especially filthy guitar solo. The always well-received “Mutilated Lips” gave the crowd that funny feeling inside, like when we use to climb the rope in gym class. Speaking of uncomfortable topics, “The HIV Song” Chocolate and Cheese album was awkwardly praised by a fan base as giddy and obnoxious as the band on stage.
After “Spinal Meningitis,” Deaner announced that the following song had never been played, and note-takers in the audience braced themselves for a new piece–only to hear a song they had probably listened to 100 times on record. People attend Ween shows praying to hear some serious bust-outs from their deep catalog of eclectic music, but even the brownest and most die-hard of followers were surprised to hear the delicate year rumbling “Among His Tribe,” off the 2003’s Quebec, which made its live Ween debut 14 years after it was released. A truly beautiful piece in the sludgy conglomeration of tracks Ween calls music, the “Among His Tribe” debut spoke to the unique, open-minded spirit of New York’s most love-spreading borough. Smiles only grew after the memorable moment in Ween history as the frequently played “Piss Up a Rope” shot out of the band’s proverbial cannon.
After announcing that they would now play a nice “party jam,” David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” (previously played on Sunday for the first time since 12/31/11) got bodies bouncing as the band K.O.-ed the classic tune. GodWeenSatan outtake “Seconds” saw the light of day for only the 17th time in the band’s career (and the first since ’02), as Dean took visible enjoyment in his ferocious talk-box solo. “It’s Gonna Be a Long Night,” allowed bassist Dave Dreiwitz to take over lead vocals in top-notch punk-rock form, before the band closed their Tuesday set with “Someday”–because, after all, Tuesday is pizza day.
After a brief pause, the band returned to the stage sans Gene for a run through instrumental “Fiesta,” before the eccentric vocalist returned for “The Mollusk,” transforming the room into an underwater dream world before everyone went on their separate ways.
The Boognish is back in Brooklyn tonight, 6/7, and after a show featuring countless favorites, bust-outs, and even the live debut of a decades-old song, two-day ticket holders are left wondering what night two has in store. But if last night was any indication, Brooklyn night two promises to be profoundly brown.
Thanks to taper Moricle, you can listen to the full show below:
View photos from the performance below courtesy of photographer Bahram Foroughi.
SETLIST: Ween | Brooklyn Steel | Brooklyn, NY | 6/6/17
The Stallion pt 1, You Fucked Up, Transdermal Celebration, I Gots a Weasel, The Golden Eel, The Argus, Push th’ Little Daisies, Big Jilm, Roses Are Free, Did You See Me?, Exactly Where I’m At, Mutilated Lips, The HIV Song, Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down), Among His Tribe, Piss Up a Rope, Pork Roll Egg and Cheese, Doctor Rock, Object, Buckingham Green, Happy Colored Marbles, Mister Richard Smoker, Let’s Dance, Seconds, The Goin’ Gets Tough From the Getgo, It’s Gonna Be a Long Night, Someday
Encore: Fiesta, The Mollusk