Ween, House of Blues, Boston MA

Ween shows are one of the places that make me feel like I’m home. In a part of my life when I’m embracing a nomadic attitude (I don’t think I’ve been home for the weekend since September), spaces where I feel this way are really special. And this show (my 6th time seeing Ween) was made even more special because my older brother, the person who showed me Ween in the first place, was able to come with me -it was his first time seeing them.

We got to the venue where people were already forming the Line, and I was able to catch up with friends from all over the country who I haven’t seen since my last Ween show in December of 2018. Many of us had seen Gizzard at least once over the course of the year, and people who were lucky to be at Ween’s Mission Ballroom shows in October told us about those wicked shows. This concert was at Boston’s House of Blues, which is within walking distance of a pretty sweet place to get pizza by the slice, Sal’s Pizza on Brookline ave. The wait went by quickly, and before we knew it we were getting ready to go inside.

Getting into the House of Blues is, unfortunately, a humongous hassle and left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. My kaleidoscope goggles were confiscated at the door (but to her credit, the woman who took them saw me forget to pick them up on my way out and reminded me). Going into the space every person got a full-TSA style pat down, which for me included the guard scooping her hands under my breasts, which I did not think was appropriate. All of the individual staff persons were perfectly nice and it was clear that they were following protocol. But getting into the space was such a rigamarole that I will likely avoid going to other shows at the House of Blues in the future – Ween is just about the only band that’s worth it.

It never stops being magical to see Ween live — they’re right there, playing their songs. And the compared to 2018, when I was seeing them basically every two months, it felt like it had been ages since I saw Gene and Dean and the gang in person. They opened with something I had never heard them play before: “Don’t Shit Where You Eat,” from Chocolate and Cheese, easing us into the evening. I got firsts at that show, like of “Nan,” from God Ween Satan, which was the beginning of me inevitably completely losing my voice.

After “Don’t Shit,” first few songs of the show were high energy, really getting everybody going. But the rest of the show felt a bit like An Evening With Ween- they played some really lovely, laid back selections. B-side gem “Albino Sunburned Girl,” made an appearance, as did a few tracks from 12 Golden Country Greats — a real treat for my older brother. At one point Deaner said something to the effect of, “I just wanna keep playing pretty ones.”

The crowd in Boston did lack a certain amount of chill – for instance, a guy behind us kept yelling at Deaner to give him a fist bump.

If there were two “best” moments of the night, the first would have to be “The Mollusk.” My brother and I sang along and made funny faces at one another for the whole song, something of a dream come true for me. And part way through the song, a disco ball was deployed, scattering light around the room and making us all feel like we were underwater. Finale “Buenos Tardes Amigo,” also utterly brought the house down, and included a lot of funny faces and singing along.

While on stage Deaner asked Gene, “What do you think our Most Boston song is?” The easy answer is “The Blarney Stone,” from The Mollusk, a rowdy sea shanty that makes little to no sense, and a favorite of mine. Everyone sang along, waving arms and beers in the air, agreeing that the Blarney Stone does bring a tear to me eye, and screaming “Aye!!” in our best pirate voices. So, despite the venue being pretty intense and the crowd having a few more dinguses than normal, seeing Ween was, as always, the single greatest night of my entire life.

I saw Ween in Philadelphia this year too…

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