This past weekend, October 14 and 15, Ween stopped by the Bill Graham Civic Center Auditorium in San Francisco, on the first tour since their disheartening breakup in 2012. With over two decades under their belt, Ween proved to be a well oiled machine with a few screws loose.
The band played two entirely different sets each night for a jam-packed house of raving and devoted fans. On Saturday, the show began with a two and a half hour set of acoustic renditions of “The Mollusk” and “Birthday Boy,” among others. The band then continued their performance with roaring solos from lead guitarist Dean Ween, a noteworthy keyboard solo from Glenn McClenlland, and quirky vocals from Gene Ween, while bassist and drummer Dave Dreiwitz and Claude Coleman, Jr. acted as the glue of the band. As expected, the night was full of surprising and comedic moments, the most memorable being when a podium appeared onstage, seemingly from thin air. With Gene standing behind it, he proceeded to recite the lyrics of “Israel” from their 2005 album “Shinola, Vol. 1,” as though he was preaching to the audience.
Ween has never been a band to follow the rules. Although they have been attached to alternative and experimental rock, it is a difficult task categorizing them or even explaining their sound to a friend. Their mixing of all types of musical genres creates a unique experience for their listeners that just simply cannot be described. This makes seeing a live performance essential, a characteristic not every artist can achieve. That being said, Ween has granted their fans a monumental favor by embarking on this reunion tour.
Article and Photos by Rebekah Gonzalez.