Ween returned to Red Rocks for the first time in eight years and I thought, well that sounds fun. Ween is an enigma wrapped in an abrupt questionnaire dipped in a deep puddle of nostalgia. In the ensuing 33 years since their inception the group has been through a lot. Having suffered the trials of rock stardom, they took a brief hiatus which prompted Gene to find sobriety and again seek out his bandmates. As Deaner proclaimed to Facebook during the kerfuffle that Ween, “…isn’t something you can quit. This is a life sentence.” Given their performance at Red Rocks it’s safe to say that Ween has weathered that storm and is back in rare form. Their setlist at Red Rocks was eclectic and featured songs from throughout their storied career. As Ween emerged from the side stage Gene looked utterly thrilled.
“Well look at this…. Fucking… God Damn…. Thank you… Thanks for coming… This is cool… We’re Ween and we’re gonna play a show. –Gene Ween
We had no openers or random b.s. to distract us from the main event. We were there to see Ween and Ween is all that we would see.
Did You See Me?, Ice Castles, The Golden Eel, The Stallion, Part 3, Take Me Away, Beacon, Light, Boys Club, Wavin’ My Dick in the Wind, The Goin’ Gets Tough From the Getgo, Transdermal Celebration, I Play It Off Legit, I Gots a Weasel, You Fucked Up, Buckingham Green, Happy Colored Marbles, Cold Blows the Wind, The Stallion, Part 1, Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain, Sorry Charlie, The Grobe, Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony?, Birthday Boy, Squelch the Weasel, Homo Rainbow, It’s Gonna Be a Long Night, Frank, The Mollusk, She Wanted to Leave, Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down), The HIV Song, Kashmir
*Enc: Polka Dot Tail, Someday, Fluffy
Their one-set extravaganza at Red Rocks featured a ton of music off of Mollusk including the show opening “Did You See Me?”. _Mollusk) has been on record store shelves for over 20 years now so it made sense to see it featured at this historic venue. Fan favorites filtered through with kids dancing in the aisles to “Transdermal Celebration” and a profoundly psychedelic version of “Buckingham Green.” The band would reach deep into their catalog with tracks like “Frank” and “Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain” which was performed by Dean and the rest of the band so Gene could go, “…drain the weasel.” Other songs took on epic proportions and included some silliness with members of the audience, such as “I Play It Off Legit” and “You Fucked Up.” It was nice to see a crowd utterly enthusiastic about the band they were seeing live. They wrapped up the set with a nice story about opening for Big Head Todd prior to playing their eerily disturbing “Spinal Meningitis” into the celebratory “HIV Song.” Dean came to the mic with one more surprise, “We’re doing something special if we fuck it up at least we tried.” The band then tore off on an epic rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” I will say that while Gene lacks the vocal dexterity of a young Robert Plant, that did not stop him from belting it out heroically. They returned for a trio of encores that ended with a monumental “Fluffy.” This was a great night on the Rocks and an excellent outing for Ween. They were set to play two more nights at the Ogden which were announced just a few weeks prior to their sold-out show at Red Rocks. Ween is back and performing at a level worthy your attention. The band looks to be having fun and their musical output is top notch. If you ever want to dabble in the downright weird and delectably tasteless, go see Ween.