Dean and Gene Ween have always been as mad as a bag of angry snakes. Like, super, magical, bizarro, wonderful weirdoes. Since 1991’s The Pod, they’ve been tripping us out with their insane acid-70s rock operas, childlike voices, country twang and lyrics about shellfish, horses with bad lungs, Spinal Meningitis and daisies. Oh hells yeah WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!
So excited was I to witness the return of Dean and Gene at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre – a venue too posh for the band and its stoner crowd – that I kinda ended up live-Tweeting it. And almost peeing myself laughing whilst doing so. For Ween live in Vancouver was, uh, something else…shitty, but kinda amazing too.
Herewith, a combination of my notes, Tweets and other relevant context. In short, munchy-snack-sized bites.
Instrumental opening! Dean’s barefooted! Gene’s grey hair’s exploded! He’s mumbling about Fabergé eggs? Okay! It’s WEEEEEEENNNN!
Plowing through “Take Me Away”. Ridiculous outro, dry ice and Gener is yelling. Umm, I think he’s wasted.
Wow, there’s pot smoke everywhere. Gene is swaying – and not metaphorically – through “Mr Richard Smoker”. Apt. This is totally silly.
“Transdermal Celebration” is a rock opera for people who are damaged in the head. Like Gener, right now. “Than-yu,” he slurs. “We are Ween”. I think he’s already said this three times?
“Mister Would You please Help My Pony?” Gene Ween is wankered and it’s brilliant! Dean’s guitar is not gently, but magnificently wailing. It’s like the 70s!
“Gabrielle” charges forth with a sort of urgentosity (that’s a word, right?). There are arms aloft in the audience from the stoners and longhairs.
Yeah, Gener, tambourines ARE really difficult!
They both look totally pleased when they make it to the end of a song…as if they never thought they’d get here.
YAY! It’s DEAN! And he’s doin’ his country music for oddballs thing! It’s “Piss Up a Rope”!
Actually, I’m not sure Dean’s sober either. But he rocks his guitar and I like his beer gut.
Ween just broke out the theremin for Buckingham Green! Amazement. It’s my favourite English-pisstake freakout! But Gene is kinda murdering it. Oh look, someone just broke out some sparklers.
Gener grabs and folds the mic down to his mouth and is sitting at the front of the stage. He’s smoking while mumbling through “Mutilated Lips”. A girl hops on stage from the front row and gives him a beer. Without missing a beat (how is this possible? He’s missed all the other beats?) he says “Thanks, baby, ‘preciate it.”
Eerie dark red smoke. “Spinal Meningitis Got Me Down” . Me too. Though I can’t stop laughing.
My favourite song about subdued dinner parties! Hey Ween! We had the best time at “Your Party”! Except for Gener. Dean, are you okay to drive him home? No? Alrighty then, just leave him there. I’mma gonna draw a mustache on his face in permanent marker.
Dean is looking less bemused. He smokes more. He talks to the other members of the band. During the songs. And in between. And from the side of the stage. But not Gene.
Ween are coverin’ Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”! It’s hilarious! And by hilarious I mean HOLY CRAP! AM I AT A KARAOKE?.
Gene Ween is making quacking duck hand puppet gestures through the smoke and alongside Dean’s 500-year-long guitar noodling. Again, awesome. And by awesome I mean I am full of awe.
Is it just me or do some of Ween’s outros last for 450 years?
Yep, he’s just lying on the stage, smoking. And pointing. And now singing into the mic. On his back.
“Sorry your panties are in a bunch mumble mumble mumble mumble”. Uh, yeah, okay, Gene!
Wow. That has to be the shittiest version of “Freedom of ‘76″ ever.
Was not expecting “Ace of Spades” sung by Ween’s bassist. Face melt!
“Help me now/I’m going down/and I don’t know if I’ll be okay” truer words were never warbled on “Birthday Boy”.
Why is the drummer playing keyboards?
Entering hour two with a Gene solo pack including the Gene Ween Band cover of “Kansas City Star” and “Don’t Sweat It” which he wrote, apparently, “after 2 weeks on mushrooms”.
Nobody is surprised about the mushrooms part. I miss Dean.
Woah. Band actually walked off and didn’t come back. Dean just left leaving Gene on his own. No encore! Something happened. Gene too wasted?
“Uh, where did the band go?” Gene Ween
EXIT GENER STAGE RIGHT. LIGHTS. SOMEBODY LETS OFF A FIREWORK INSIDE THE THEATRE.
The audience is dazed. And not just from the pot. WHAT. THE. FUCK? \m/
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