Ween Paints Port Chester Brown During Three Night Capitol Theatre Run

It had been four years since the last run of Ween shows at The Capitol Theatre, and the Rock Palace was indeed in need of a fresh coat of brown. Over a run spanning February 18-20, the genre-fluid band played over 100 songs, among them just a pair of covers, and treated fans to deep dives into their catalog as well as the usual fan favorites including “Frank” and “Touch My Tooter.”

At Stage Left all three nights was an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, adding the benefit of visual translation of Ween’s (at times, deeply troubling and/or profane) lyrics to the entire audience, but especially those deaf fans in the audience for whom ASL provides the full concert experience. (See videos below.)

Friday, February 18

Before they could jump into “Pork Roll Egg and Cheese” to start the night, Dean Ween could not hold back his excitement, letting out a ‘Fuck Yeah!’ to the crowd. A fair amount of fan favorites set the tone for the weekend, including “Transdermal Celebration,” ‘Boys Club,” “Voodoo Lady,” and “She Fucks Me,” which had Deaner giddily repeating the refrain while watching the ASL interpreter sign the phrase over and over, much to everyone’s delight.

Of course their song titles are nothing you’d want to bring up casually in conversation; they are designed to be hilarious if not daring for the crowd to shout and request, and can make a conversation go from G-rated to NC-17 before you can say “Poopship Destroyer.”

During a string of songs with Gene Ween on acoustic guitar, he played a portion of Cat Stevens “Father and Son,” possibly the most out of place tune the whole weekend. An older instrumental, “Ice Castles,” appeared about halfway through the evening, just before Gene took a break and the band jumped into “Put the Coke on My Dick.” “Your Party” would close the set appropriately, with “Shamemaker,” off 2007’s La Cucaracha sandwiched between “I’m Dancing In The Show Tonight” and “Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down).”

Setlist: Pork Roll Egg and Cheese, She Wanted to Leave, Exactly Where I’m At, I Was Nothing, I Don’t Want to Leave You on the Farm, Touch My Tooter, I Gots a Weasel, Transdermal Celebration, Boys Club, Transitions, Mononucleosis, Frank, Voodoo Lady, I’ll Miss You, She Fucks Me, Cornbread Red, Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain, Father and Son*, Chocolate Town, The Mollusk, I Don’t Want It, Ice Castles, Final Alarm, I Get a Little Taste of You, The Golden Eel, Put the Coke on my Dick, Flutes of Chi, Buckingham Green, Light Me Up, Koko, Old Queen Cole, The Stallion, Part 5, Your Party

Encore: I’m Dancing in the Show Tonight, Shamemaker, Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)

*Cat Stevens, unfinished

Saturday, February 19

Night two of the run was just as good as Friday, with a few more rarities worked into the show. “Birthday Boy” and “Piss Up a Rope” kicked off the night with “My Own Bare Hands” following right behind, setting the tone early. “Waving My Dick in the Wind,” “Japanese Cowboy” and a pair of “Stallions” – Parts 1 and 3 – would be among early highlights of the show, before lesser played songs “Boing,” “Ooh Va La,” and “Can U Taste the Waste?”

After an intense “I’l Be Your Johnny On the Spot,” Gene found his mandolin for “Ocean Man” before a “Vallejo” set closer. A four-song encore began with “Baby Bitch” and “Tender Situation” before bassist Dave Dreiwitz switched instruments with Dean for “Dont Laugh (I Love You)” and the12 Golden Country Greats lead track “I’m Holding You.”

Setlist: Birthday Boy, Piss Up a Rope, My Own Bare Hands, Polka Dot Tail, Now I’m Freaking Out, Wavin’ My Dick in the Wind, Sweet Texas Fire, Dr. Rock, Japanese Cowboy, Happy Colored Marbles, Beacon Light, I Got to Put the Hammer Down, Zoloft, The Stallion, Part 1, Gabrielle, Boing, The Enabler*, Little Birdy, The Stallion, Part 3, Albino Sunburned Girl, Nan, Fat Lenny, Reggaejunkiejew, Ohh Vah La, Papa Zit, Can U Taste the Waste?, Pandy Fackler, Take Me Away, Object, I’ll Be Your Jonny on the Spot, Ocean Man, Vallejo

Encore: Baby Bitch, Tender Situation, Don’t Laugh (I Love You), I’m Holding You

* Instant Death cover

Sunday, February 20

With a tank still full of gas, Ween swung for the fences early on Sunday with a “Fiesta” opener and two of their best known songs (to non-Ween fans), “Bananas and Blow” and “Roses Are Free.” The rare “Suckin the Blood From the Devil’s Dick” made its first appearance since 1995 prior to “Big Jilm” and “The Argus.”

Among the rest of the highlights tonight were “Stroker Ace,” “Demon Sweat,” “The Blarney Stone” and the ever-romantic “Stay Forever.” An encore of “You Fucked Up” and “Poopship Destroyer” put a brown closing note on the weekend, raising the bar for future Ween runs in Port Chester.

Setlist: Fiesta, Captain Fantasy, The Grobe, I Can’t Put My Finger on It, Bananas and Blow, Roses Are Free, Sorry Charlie, Push th’ Little Daisies, Learnin’ to Love, How High Can You Fly, Suckin the Blood From the Devil’s Dick, Big Jilm, The Argus, Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy), Sketches of Winkle, Even If You Don’t, Springtheme, Did You See Me?, I Play It Off Legit, The Goin’ Gets Tough From the Getgo, Stroker Ace, Puerto Rican Power, Seconds, Don’t Sweat It, Demon Sweat, Tried and True, What Deaner Was Talkin’ About, Stay Forever, Ode to Rene, Homo Rainbow, The Blarney Stone, If You Could Save Yourself (You’d Save Us All)
Encore: You Fucked Up, Poopship Destroyer

photos by Michael Dinger

Capitol Theatreween