Ween Fort York, Toronto ON, September 17
Published Sep 18, 2016"We have a big brown set for ya," announced Dean Ween, perhaps rock music's most unlikely guitar hero. "Big and brown."
What the hell is Ween all about? The long running outfit has managed to confound anyone who's ever been dumb enough to try to get a handle on that question. They're not about anything. Their music is genre-free, their lyrics are almost aggressively juvenile, and their stage show is filled with shrugs and goofs and yet displays a degree of musicianship barely matched by any of their peers. They are a truly excellent band, but their every gesture seems designed to make you feel silly for thinking that.
Running through a lengthy setlist populated by material from their now 30 year career, fake brothers "Gene and Dean Ween" (Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo) and their killer band displayed the kind of onstage chemistry that has to be earned over years of communication. (The fact that they have only just emerged from a multi-year hiatus does not seem to have slowed their pace a bit.)
On extended instrumental jams through "Voodoo Lady," "Take Me Away" and "The Argus," Dean Ween showed off his effortless fretwork as the band worked steady grooves underneath; on tightly constructed pop gems like "Roses Are Free" and the gorgeous ballad "I Don't Want It," they came across as straight as can be; on batshit crowd favourites like "Waving My Dick in the Wind," "Piss Up a Rope" and "Pollo Asado," they become a zany comedy act.
"Hi, we're Ween," announced Deaner towards the end of the set. "We're here to fuck you with our music." Whatever that means, I guess that's what happened. Mission accomplished, you weirdoes.