December 1st, 2007

An overweening experience

 Last night I saw the band Ween at a cavernous new space in New York called Terminal 5.  It was the first time I'd seen the band.  The show was sold out, and the audience seemed to be composed entirely of Ween fanatics, a wide-ranging crowd that included stoners, punks, jocks, you name it.  Initially polite, these mostly twenty-somethings became brutish as the night and their state of inebriation wore on.  But I have to say, rarely have I seen a band enjoying itself on stage as much as Ween.  Gene Ween sang every song with an expression midway between a smirk and a stoner grin, if that can be imagined.  He can croon with the best of 'em, and also belt it out Minutemen style, and why not?  The band goes all the way back to 1985.  The music was really eclectic, from prog rock to punk to country to sea shanties.  What tied it all together was a smart-ass attitude and lyrics, from what I could tell, that stood in decidedly ironic counterpoint to the music, which was dead-on in terms of whatever genre they were aiming for.  The musicianship was impressive, and I'm definitely going to check out some of their CDs now.  But man, the show was LONG.  The band took a break after two hours, then came back for an encore.  As the encore stretched to half an hour and showed no signs of ending any time soon, my buddy Dan and I looked at each other and said, "Let's get out of here!"  We had simultaneously reached our limit of Ween.  We had been Overweened.