On Friday night, Ween opened their final weekend run of 2018 with a performance at the newly re-opened The Met Philadelphia. After a lengthy set that featured a mix of fan-favorite songs as well as the first “Freedom of 76” of 2018, Ween returned to the stage to begin what would turn out to be a memorable four-song encore that paid tribute to the late Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of beloved children’s cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants.
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In the wake of Hillenburg’s ALS-related death last month, Dean Ween (a.k.a. Mickey Melchiondo) shared an anecdote about the band’s longtime connection to SpongeBob. As Deaner noted,
I got a call a long time ago from a marine biologist that said he wanted to start a cartoon inspired by Ween’s album The Mollusk. His name was Steve Hillenburg and his idea was to create a Bugs Bunny type cartoon on the bottom of the ocean floor. Ween had been on tour for a long year and we ended up recording and writing the song in one night at Greg Frey‘s studio. It was to teach kids how too tie their shoes and we wrote it really fast and mailed it back on X-mas eve and for once they said “don’t change anything about it, it’s perfect.”
It remains one of our proudest legacies and we went on to do a lot of work together with SpongeBob, and the show went on to be the best cartoon of 2 generations. So this is for you Steve. The show wasn’t even on the air at the time mind you.
In addition to being inspired by The Mollusk and commissioning “Loop de Loop” for the show, Hillenburg and his team used Ween’s “Ocean Man” as the soundtrack for the closing credits of 2004’s The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie.
Back to Philly—When Ween retook the stage for their encore in their first performance since Hillenburg’s passing, they began with a rendition of “Loop de Loop” in his honor, marking just their second time ever playing the song live. They continued in their SpongeBob homage with renditions of aforementioned SpongeBob muses “Ocean Man” and “The Mollusk” before closing the performance with “Fluffy”.
You can watch videos of Ween’s encore homage to Stephen Hillenburg in Philly below via YouTube user monihampton:
Ween – “Loop de Loop”
Ween – “Ocean Man”
Ween – “The Mollusk”, “Fluffy”
You can also watch the instructional shoe-tying number in from SpongeBob Squarepants below:
SpongeBob Squarepants [Ween] – “Loop De Loop”
Ween will wrap up their 2018 schedule tonight, Saturday, December 15th and tomorrow, Sunday, December 16th with a pair of performances at Port Chester, NY’s historic rock palace, The Capitol Theatre.
The band will also host a toy drive during their two-night run at The Cap. Toys collected will be donated to the Port Chester Carver Center, a non-profit foundation that provides individuals and families in the Port Chester community with the resources and support needed to lead productive, healthy, and independent lives. Tickets to Ween’s first night at The Cap are sold out, but you can grab your tickets to Sunday’s show here.
Setlist: Ween | The Met Philly | Philadelphia, PA | 12/14/18
Pork Roll Egg and Cheese, The HIV Song, Chocolate Town, Freedom of ’76, The Grobe, Waving My Dick in the Wind, Object, Nan, Mister Would You Please Help My Pony?, Don’t Shit Where You Eat, Voodoo Lady, The Argus, I Gots a Weasel, Boy’s Club, Never Squeal> Improvisation> Never Squeal, Zoloft, Take Me Away, Fiesta, Buckingham Green, Albino Sunburned Girl, Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down), With My Own Bare Hands, Happy Colored Marbles, Exactly Where I’m At, Wayne’s Pet Youngin, Touch My Tooter
Encore: Loop de Loop, Ocean Man, The Mollusk, Fluffy