Words by: Andrew Bruss :: Images by: Scott Fleishman

Ween :: 06.10.07 :: Hampton Beach Casino :: Hampton Beach, NH

Ween :: 06.10 :: Hampton Beach, NH
Ween performed a sold out set at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom to a capacity crowd of Boognish-worshiping New Englanders, who, in recent years, have been suffering from a Ween drought.

These New Hope, Pennsylvania natives have long met with either overwhelming affection or immense confusion. Dean and Gene Ween (born Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman, respectively) have made a career out of providing their listeners with a well-rounded, fractured rock smorgasbord that spans genres as diverse as electronica, flamenco and quasi-horror soundtrack - all in a single album. The soundscapes they create are notoriously bizarre. The tellers of Ween lore include a god named Boognish who came to Dean and Gene in an 8th grade typing class and offered them scepters of wealth and power. Following their run-in with the great and powerful Boognish, the two "brothers" formed Ween as an anarchistic borderline punk act whose sound would be extensively developed in the years to come. Fast forward roughly 20 years and we find Ween on the heels of releasing their Friends EP, and embarking on a nationwide tour that climaxed with a prominent timeslot at this year's Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Mickey Melchiondo :: 06.10
As the line outside the venue began to run around the corner, attendees flocked to the stage like moths to a flame. The Brothers Ween took the stage flanked by a bassist, synth player and drummer. Shadowed by a hyper-intensive fog display, the group ripped into "She Wanted To Leave" off of 1997's The Mollusk. They then moseyed through "Golden Eel" and "Baby Bitch." Following "Baby Bitch," the group dove head first into one of the most unsettling tunes in any band's repertoire. "Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)" features a young child struggling to gain some understanding behind the suffering her medical situation has created. Folks new to Ween might find the song to be sadistic or simply distasteful, however, for anyone willing to invest some time it's quickly apparent that Ween's ability to fuse humor, theatrics, tight songwriting and impressive instrumental technique is the key to their success.

Throughout the night, Ween actively showcased this winning formula with face-melting, genre-spanning tunes like "Touch My Tooter," "Waving My Dick In The Wind" and an acoustic "Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain." The highlight of their psyched-out, laugh-rock set was "The HIV Song," which many audience members cited as being one of the best runs through the song ever.

Ween :: 06.10 :: Hampton Beach, NH
The band managed to recreate their unique Monty Python-meets-Frank Zappa style in the live context but a great deal of their hyper-eclectic sound lost its magic outside of the studio. While listening to their career-defining album, Chocolate & Cheese, what strikes the listener is the White Album-esque quality it embodies, where each song is crafted with a specific sound all its own. Unfortunately, when they took these songs outside the studio a degree of their magic seems lost. This is not to say that their performance was remotely generic, but for a longtime listener, their set at Hampton Beach might have fallen short of expectations.

Critics and road-hardened Weenheads alike have long built Ween up to be one of the most unique groups out there. They've definitely got an individualistic sound and stage show that's far from common. But, with the hype that follows this act, meeting everyone's expectations is going to be next to impossible. Fortunately, while critics continue to review their hearts out, the job of Dean and Gene is to block this rubbish out and make artistically progressive music. So, even if one critic may have built up the hopes of another, even if one fan finds their live versions to be a bit less polished then their studio work, a ticket to a Ween show will still guarantee a night of quality entertainment outside the box of conventionality.

JamBase | New Hampshire
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[Published on: 6/26/07]

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nuke_ticketbastard starstarstarstar Tue 6/26/2007 03:04PM
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yeah first!!!!
baby bitch is the shit!
ween rides on!

phishmann starstar Tue 6/26/2007 03:49PM
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this show rocked!!!!! fallen short my ass!!! best show all year! fuck the thumbs!!!

Tan starstarstarstarstar Tue 6/26/2007 04:17PM
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Ween gives me fuzzy feelings.

toestothenose starstarstarstar Tue 6/26/2007 04:27PM
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Loved Dean's Comment this past weekend in NJ

“We just played for a field full of hippies in Tennessee and now we are playing for a parking lot full of punks in NJ.” We'll take the punks everyday

rulosa01 Wed 6/27/2007 11:39AM
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Supposedly most of Hampton Beach is still a dark Brown

horhay_achoa Wed 6/27/2007 12:22PM
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I love Ween's albums, but I would take a dirty live show over the polished albums any day

TXfarmhouse Wed 6/27/2007 01:03PM
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2 nights at STUBBS, cant f'in wait

johnnyblaze36 Wed 6/27/2007 01:39PM
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2 nights at STUBBS, cant f'in wait. Next night at HOB too. WEEN!!!!

gmoo starstarstarstarstar Wed 6/27/2007 05:55PM
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I've never seen Ween live, but this is the 2nd time recently that I've read a not-so-good review of a Ween show. Everyone I talk to seems to disagree and say that Ween puts on one of the best shows around. Is it merely a preferencial thing or is there more to it? If somebody could tell me what sets their shows apart from other groups, I'd appreciate it. A lot of people tell me how awesome their shows are, but they can't really put their finger on what makes their shows so unique. Please fill me in!

jimvrountree star Wed 6/27/2007 09:28PM
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critics don't like ween because they're not radiohead. go to ween and see for yourself. they rock hard live.

PLUG star Thu 6/28/2007 06:19AM
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"The Brothers Ween took the stage flanked by a bassist, synth player and drummer. "

In spewing this statement, do you really have any business reviewing a ween show?


Glenn, Dave and Claude

manjotar starstarstar Thu 6/28/2007 09:25AM
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for real,
go see ween.

jrpettit star Thu 6/28/2007 11:19AM
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are you kidding me? this fuckface cant even get claude dave and glen's names right. if you put any stock in this critics article you might as well kill yourself. go see em!! they weren't recently called the best american rock band since van halen for nothing...yeah i heard it with my own ears and it couldn't be more true. best band around, bar none!!

blazer2576 starstarstarstarstar Thu 6/28/2007 12:02PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

whoahhh... what business does anyone have insulting the writer in the first place, whether you agree or disagree? Way to make Ween fans look like assholes. As far as all this talk about not having any business covering ween without knowing Glenn Dave and Claude's names, i read the above quote as more of a suggestion that Ween's core is Dean and Gene... even with the other guys. Everybody knows they're the brains behind the group. they do all the song writing and are the soul behind the project. Honestly, as a long time reader of jambase and lover of ween, the responses to this article makes me ashamed to have anything to do with this scene. This guy clearly likes the band and enjoyed the show, he just expressed what he found to be lacking along with what he enjoyed. It seems like he gave the show a good review while being honest, and if you immature die-hards can't appreciate a little constructive criticism, then you have no business shitting on someone who does.

phishmann Thu 6/28/2007 12:07PM
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wow ! blazer you are a tool. i will say what think! forever!!!!!!!!

blazer2576 Thu 6/28/2007 12:26PM
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i would never tell you that you shouldn't be allowed to voice your opinion phishmann... i'm all for free speech. i just think the unfounded aggression in your words speaks to a degree of arrogance which negates any ability to critic art for yourself, therefor I feel you have no business criticizing someone with skills beyond those of your own

jrpettit star Thu 6/28/2007 12:30PM
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crud=asshole and we were called cruds. therfore, i am a ween fan and an asshole. nonetheless, ween still rules!!

bigchris starstar Thu 6/28/2007 01:19PM
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another poorly prepared jambase reviewer on Ween. At least it didn't suck as much as the Boonapoop or last year Greek show review.

doesn't matter, they are the best live rock act in the USA, bar none!

Boognish provides.

phishmann Thu 6/28/2007 04:41PM
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you are still a tool.free speech is for everyone.not just ass kissers.blazer you know nothing!!! ha ha ha ha!

jimvrountree star Thu 6/28/2007 06:13PM
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not including glenn's, claude's or dave's names in this article is the equivalent of someone saying "trey came out flanked by his drummer, bassplayer and keyboard player."

do your research, thanks.

karacter0 starstarstarstar Thu 6/28/2007 09:12PM
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I thought their Bonnaroo set was par at best :(
I love Ween, though! Ashevill, NC april30 was the best show I've ever seen from them!

karacter0 Fri 6/29/2007 12:29PM
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I agree with the writer that ween is a studio band. I love to see them live every chance I get, but many of their songs were definitely made for the studio.

In the recent years, Ween has replaced Beck as my favorite current day band that isn't a jamband and sometimes dabbles in the MTV/pop culture world. They should have a big lot scene like Phish or SCI!

Makisupa_McGee Fri 6/29/2007 01:07PM
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i think if some hardcore fans dont like Ween live its all becasue of the expectations they have going into it.

I love ween live but have only seen em at huge fests/venues (vegoos & the greek). I'd give my right boognish to see them in a small rock&roll venue like the indi in SF

I also love that ween scares all the wussies away, so i can feel right at home in any ween crowd

JoeyTheFoot starstarstarstarstar Mon 7/2/2007 10:32AM
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Ween is one of the best live acts on the road today. I started listening to Ween about 10 years ago in a smokey dorm room, when my roommate busted out baby bitch and buenos tardes amigos on his acoustic. I was fucking blown away. I'll agree the best Ween show I've ever seen was in Ashevill, but it was April 21, 2001 or 2002(they all run together after years on the road). I've seen great Ween show and I've seen bad Ween shows. If you're going to get all up in the writers shit for having his own opinion then you need to fuck off. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and my opinion is Ween is fucking awesome. I've seen shitty Panic shows, Shitty Cheese Shows, Shitty Phish shows. Everyone has been to shitty shows, but we still listen to the music don't we folks? Yep that's what I thought....Just my 45 cents....

jrpettit star Mon 7/2/2007 01:30PM
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i bet your sheets stink so badly

gmoo Mon 7/2/2007 02:52PM
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...wow you don't make me want to see ween at all with all this positivity.

karacter0 Wed 7/4/2007 05:06PM
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Good call, JoeyTheFoot. I have also heard bad Phish, SCI, Panic, Claypool, Galactic, Beck shows to name a few. I was just saying that Bonnaroo wasn't my favourite Ween and I don't consider it to be the "climax" of the tour, whatever that means in the article.

If you liked this show, I think you'll love them at a smaller, indoor venue. (unless Moistboyz is your style)

breadloaf starstarstarstar Sat 7/7/2007 12:56PM
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gmoo, just go see them if you get a chance. I have seen them many times and loved every show. Were some better than others? Absolutely. I saw them a few weeks ago in Albany and was going to write a review here but was having way too much fun to care about getting the set list right. Just a killer show. My wife had never seen them and she was blown away. They are easily one of the most fun bands touring, period. I do agree with the comments regarding not naming the rest of the band- they are an integral part of the Ween sound and experience. They deserve to be named in any Ween article.

zdrawkcabmikool starstarstarstarstar Mon 8/6/2007 12:56AM
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All I have to say is that when I saw dene and gene ween in Tennessee I was freakin OUT. Fat Lenny. OH FAT LENNY. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. cant touch god ween satan. Anyway i flipped my shit at that show fought my way to the front. Frank was playing. and I was probobly 20 feet from dene and gene ween. could not believe my eyes. BOOZE ME UP AND GET ME HIGH. ween has such a rocking crowd. My only dissapointment was that the show was over too soon. I need to make it to stubbs. AHHH. thats what deaner talkin about. salute boog

jrw256 Thu 11/15/2007 10:05AM
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yeah this show was unreal. obviously this dude has no idea what ween is about. i was altered by this show.