For two days the Dean Ween Group took over The Heath at the classy The McKittrick Hotel, which, in fact, is not a hotel at all. The McKittrick, most known for being the home of Sleep No More, is a frequent stop on most tourists’ itinerary. On this Monday and Tuesday the McKittrick was going to see a very different type of visitor, as Ween fans have a reputation as a hard-drinking and partying group and their New York contingent couldn’t wait for the opportunity to leave their mark. The Dean Ween Group, consisting of Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo (guitar, vocals), Dave Dreiwitz (bass, vocals), Scott Rednor (guitar), Glenn McCelland (keys) and Claude Coleman Jr. (drums), played two very different shows over the course of two nights, despite repeating a lot of Ween classics for the faithful fans. Monday started out with some technical difficulty overshadowing the beginning of the show, but once it was sorted Deaner and Co. treated the crowd to a roaring rock show. The stench of sweat and Corona quickly overtook the small retro-fitted bar as soon as Deaner lead the charge on a powerful “Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)” which erupted from the whimsical opener “Ice Castles.” Dreiwitz took the lead on “Homo Rainbow” and graced us with a raging bass solo during the overly ironic “I Saw Gener Crying In His Sleep.” The first night was highlighted by the calypso rumblings of “Bananas & Blow” and the dark, set-closing “The Rift” before the three-song encore which featured McCelland leading the way on “Waving My Dick In The Wind” followed by “Hey There Fancypants” before the night was brought to a close by the fan favorite “Roses Are Free.”
The second night back with Dean Ween Group at the McKittrick brought quite a different atmosphere. While the room was slightly more crowded, a more subdued and calming feel came over the room, with no technical difficulties out of the gate. With one night under their belt the band sounded tight from the get go. The first night felt more like a booze-fueled band practice and that may just be what the Ween fans were looking for. Is it really a Ween show if Deaner isn’t sweating on the first few rows of rabid fans? The crowd and band alike got fired up quickly and left all the pleasantries behind with Dean Ween favorite “Booze Me Up” and an early set “Roses Are Free” with Deaner and Dreiwitz dueling it out face-to-face. Standouts from this evening include “Spinal Meningitis,” “Homo Rainbow” and “The Mollusk,” as well as an extended duo jam featuring McCelland and Coleman Jr. on keys and drums respectively. We can only hope that Dean Ween Group continues to tour and play together. You can catch them next in the Northeast at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J. Tickets available here.