On July 29th, 2018 I drove to Burlington, Vermont to see the mighty Ween. I had giddily made plans to see what I’ve long called my favourite live band twice in the previous week (in Columbus, Ohio and Pittsburgh) sandwiched around a performance of The Wall – The Opera in Cincinnati to make up for you-snooze-you-losing out on the penultimate TW-TO show in Montreal the year before, but when friend after friend bailed on joining me on such an epic roadtrip I bailed in favour in this single show in Burlington.
I ended up going to the show with m’lady and three friends, two of which were among the short-list of associates who were unable to join me on the aforementioned Ween-to-Wall-to-Ween adventure. We all bunked down together at the Hilton Garden Inn just a short walk from the waterfront where the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival was taking place – which was pretty sweet – and with such a good crew along a good time was guaranteed (and delivered).
Which was good because I found the band rather disappointing. We arrived onsite just in time when the band surprisingly went on at the very, very early time of 7:05 or so, and though I went in with a great-gusto attitude hoping to have the time of my life seeing the best band around, well, Ween just didn’t deliver to their full potential.
I still had a good time (after all, it’s still Ween) and I rocked out like a drunken banshee to faves like She Wanted To Leave, Voodoo Lady, I Can’t Put My Finger On It and especially (of course) Buckingham Green, but throughout it all it just seemed like the band was really feeling the long drive that had followed what was by all reports a pretty epic show in Buffalo the night before. Everyone onstage was sounding great, they just didn’t find that Ween gel that I was hoping for.
I loved it when Gener mentioned the beautiful mountains across the water (and on cue I turned and gasped at the watercolour-like beauty of the lake and the hills in the distance, as did everyone else in the crowd) when Deaner piped in that they had seen much nicer mountains, “…in Seattle for instance. And New Jersey.”
I also loved it when they played Ice Castles, one of my favourite songs of…ever. So why am I saying it was a disappointing show? Because I’m comparing it solely to other Ween shows, many of which rank among the best concerts I’ve ever seen. Heck, I might say that this was maybe my fifteenth favourite concert of all time, but then I’d have to add that the fourteen shows ahead of it would all be Ween concerts.
So yeah, good show I guess. Maybe I’m just bitter because the Columbus and Pittsburgh performances that I bailed on were supposedly off-the-hook.