Watch Ween’s New Year’s Eve 2011 Concert

By Scott Bernstein Dec 29, 2020 7:03 am PST

When Ween finished their New Year’s Eve 2011 concert at the Fillmore Auditorium, it was hard to imagine over four years would pass before the members of the band would again share the stage. Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman gave an interview to Rolling Stone just a few months later that effectively ended Ween until a reunion that began on February 12, 2016. JamBase continues a week-long look at memorable NYE moments with footage of Ween’s entire 33-song performance from December 31, 2011 via the JamBase Live Video Archive.

“It’s time to move on, I’m retiring Gene Ween,” Freeman told Rolling Stone as part of a feature published on May 29, 2012. “Pretty much, yeah,” Freeman responded when asked for clarification on if his statement meant the end of Ween. “It’s been a long time, 25 years. It was a good run.” Many fans were taken by surprise as was Gener’s co-conspirator in Ween, Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo. “This is news to me, all I can say for now I guess,” Deaner wrote on Facebook.


Aaron started his solo career by issuing Marvelous Clouds, a tribute to singer/poet Rod McKuen. He then formed FREEMAN and released an album with the ensemble. In 2015, Freeman began performing as Gene Ween again for a series of “Gene Ween Does Billy Joel” tribute concerts, solo band performances and a set with Umphrey’s McGee at the Summer Camp Music Festival.

Deaner put together The Dean Ween Group, which often featured the other three members of Ween as part of the revolving lineup: keyboardist Glenn McClelland, bassist Dave Dreiwitz and drummer Claude Coleman Jr. Melchiondo also went to work on The Deaner Album, his own solo debut.


Ween brought 2011 to a close with three nights at the Fillmore Auditorium. The quintet’s New Year’s Eve show, their first since 1998 and one of just four in the band’s history, was opened by Kid is Qual. “Cause it’s a party and shit,” Deaner exclaimed after Ween kicked off their set with the festive “Fiesta.” Gener then led the band through a rousing “Take Me Away” and the fitting “Transdermal Celebration.”

The rest of the set saw Ween touch on material from nearly every era of their 25-year career. “Awesome Sound,” “Dr. Rock” and “Frank” were among the tunes that represented Gener and Deaner’s early days with “Push th’ Little Daisies,” “The Goin’ Gets Tough From The Getgo” and “The HIV Song” coming from the pair’s mid-1990s output. Ween also fit five songs from 1997’s The Mollusk, two from 2000’s White Pepper and three off 2003’s Quebec into the setlist.


“Your Party,” one of the newest songs played by Ween on NYE 2011, gave way to a jam on “The Little Drummer Boy” that set the stage for a countdown to 2012. Brown balloons fell over the capacity crowd as the band gave the traditional “Auld Lang Syne” a half-hearted attempt. Ween then lit into a celebratory cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and would later perform CSNY’s “Ohio” before ending the frame with “Tender Situation.”

The evening’s four-song encore began with the last performance of “It’s Gonna Be A Long Night” featuring Deaner on lead vocals. Dave Dreiwitz has sung “Long Night” since the band returned. Ween said farewell with a run of “Licking The Palm For Guava” > “Mushroom Festival In Hell” > “The Blarney Stone.” Watch what turned out to be their final show until 2016 below:

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Setlist (via Brownbase)

Set: Fiesta, Take Me Away, Transdermal Celebration, Waving My Dick in the Wind, Bananas and Blow, Beacon Light, Push th’ Little Daisies, Stay Forever, Awesome Sound, Mutilated Lips, Touch My Tooter, Doctor Rock, Hey There Fancypants, I’ll Be Your Jonny on the Spot, The Goin’ Gets Tough From the Getgo, Frank, Piss Up a Rope, Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain, Buckingham Green, Reggaejunkiejew, Your Party > Little Drummer Boy (tease) > Auld Lang Syne, Let’s Dance, Don’t Laugh (I Love You), Polka Dot Tail, The HIV Song, Ohio > Tender Situation

Encore: It’s Gonna Be a Long Night, Licking the Palm For Guava > Mushroom Festival in Hell > The Blarney Stone

  • – Kid is Qual opened
  • – Dean sings the final verse of Jonny on the Spot, through the megaphone, while Gene is off stage – Gene returns for the last line of the verse
  • – brown Boognish balloons dropped from the ceiling at midnight
  • – Dean on bass for Don’t Laugh – without Dave
  • – final WEEN performance of Long Night with Dean on lead vocals
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