The Best Time At Your Party
J.I. is well aware that the extremely brown sounds of Ween are not beloved by all. So if the Pennsylvania duo isn't your bag, feel free to stop reading. If you want to know why they slayed the sold-out crowd at the first of two nights at New York's Terminal 5, stay with us.
How about 32 songs in a two-and-a-half hour set that hit most of the high points of the group's massive catalog, as well as several unexpected rarities and some of the greatest guitar playing J.I. has seen east of Eddie Van Halen a couple weeks ago? Add to that about a dozen good buddies, plenty of beer and assorted wacky individuals and you have a fine night out indeed.
The boys really got cooking during "Voodoo Lady," the seventh song of the set. Other outrageous jams enlivened the "X-Files" soundtrack gem "Beacon Light" and the ultra-creepy "Zoloft," an endurance tester that often separates the true fans from the casual observers. Guitarist Mickey Melchiondo was on fire most of the evening, taking the mic for the sing-a-long "The Blarney Stone" and the ultra-uncommon "Strap on that Jammypac," a trademark awesome/annoying oldie.
We also have to shout out to keyboardist Glen McClelland for his truly demented solo during the middle of "Pandy Fackler." What started out sounding like music from a Holiday Inn cocktail lounge in 1982 wound up in outer space, with Ween expertly returning to the main theme without a hitch.
Oddly, there were only three songs from the new "La Cucaracha" ("Your Party" suffered for the lack of the saxophone from the album version). But we'll be back again tonight. Dare you?
UPDATE: On Saturday, judging by the show of hands when Melchiondo asked how many people had been to the gig the night before, 80% were repeat customers. And they were rewarded handsomely: only one repeat from the night before (the fake game show theme "Fiesta"), and it was naturally played to both open and close the performance. Saturday night treats included a sick jam on "Roses Are Free," a four-song acoustic set led by "Tried and True" and "I Don't Want It" and a brain-frying main-set closing take on "Fat Lenny."
Backstage afterward, Melchiondo insisted that one day the Philadelphia 76ers would be good again, although he was more interested in making it back to his local bar in New Hope, Pa., for last call.
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