Photo by Christian Spraungel

Dean & Gene bring Ween back to MN

Turning St. Paul into a weekend long Ween-Fest

Last updated on February 18th, 2022 at 09:27 pm

With two nights to really dig in, they played with deeper cuts and a whopping twenty-six song setlist (per night), without repeating a single song. Although some rare tunes were played, there were plenty of fan favorites.

By the end of the second night, I was left wanting to hear more Ween. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the first night. However, comparing set lists, it’s hard to say which evening I would have preferred to see if I had to choose just one.

Compared to the first time I saw Ween (in the underwhelming space of the Roy Wilkins Auditorium), their band was absolutely on fire and dove deep into their eclectic mix of genres including funk, country, jam, metal, punk, comedy, etc.

When they were in town last, I still thought the show was great, but that show occurred shortly after Ween had gotten back together after a hiatus wherein Gene had left the group to work on a solo career and his sobriety. This performance definitely felt like Ween is back in full swing, and they’re not going anywhere soon.

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Photo by Christian Spraungel

As the band took the stage, with a cigarette in Deaner’s hand, their set began on a slightly quieter approach with “Don’t Sweat It,” but moved immediately into “Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy),” which, during the outro, provided the venue with rock anthem-like chanting opportunity. Most of the crowd belted it out word for word.

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Photo by Christian Spraungel

This was followed by “Gabrielle” and then two of my personal favorites, the Prince-like funky “Monique The Freak,” and “Voodoo Lady.” I was incredibly pleased to hear both of these back-to-back, and even more pleased when they went off into a jam during “Voodoo Lady” which essentially doubled the song’s normal the length. Just when you’d think it couldn’t get much better, we heard the psychedelic intro to “Mutilated Lips.”

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Photo by Christian Spraungel

At this point in the night, things were escalating quickly and a rather large pink bra ended up on stage, which then ended up on drummer Claude Coleman’s head. Ween fan madness ensued, and their demon-god band logo, Boognish, was summoned.

Deaner was obviously enjoying the night, making funny comments on how fucking ‘tight this is,’ and that they’re tight like Steely Dan. So tight. Damn right you are!

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Photo by Christian Spraungel

One of the main reasons Ween fans are such hardcore fans is that the band can do so many genres extremely well. In contradiction to the Hard Times satirical title, saying that Ween essentially does all genres in a mediocre way, last night made the exact opposite clear.

Which brings us into the number of songs of the night from their country album 12 Golden Country Greats, which concluded with many Ween fans drunkenly shouting the vulgar lyrics openly to ‘Piss Up a Rope.’

Photo by Christian Spraungel

Then it was time to get metal. I’m sure this was a highlight of the night for a lot of people. Ween played a cover of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. I saw too many laughs, devil horns, and people just generally freaking out while this song was being played. I know I was.

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Photo by Christian Spraungel

Throughout the rest of the night, things remained insane, with countless other great tunes, including some of my favorites. The appalling “Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down),” “Push Th’ Little Daisies” and the manly love jam “Homo Rainbow” all made appearances.

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Photo by Christian Spraungel

Without playing an encore, the band ended the two-night marathon with “What Deaner Was Talking About” and took a loud turn into “You Fucked Up.”

Ween took their bows and the lights came on. I thought to myself how mind-blowing that experience was, and how happy I was to be able to spend my evening there with them. Certain much-anticipated shows tend to have this feeling or electricity in the air that makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger and more special than just any show.

It may be due to the band is playing in a familiar city, or maybe they are somewhere they know they have fans and they want to blow the venue out of the water. There is no doubt in my mind that these two nights at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul were one of those perfect examples.

Hail Boognish!



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