After having a mere three days to try and get my psyche together after seeing the best Ween concert ever, on November 3rd, 2003 I was back in my car heading to Toronto for – you guessed it – another Ween show.
Though I generally tend to find a few friends from home at a Ween concert no matter how far flung the show is, this Toronto show was packed tight with my Canadian concert brethren and high-fives and cup-clinks were exchanged in every corner of the large, square, Walmart-like Kool Haus all night long. When I didn’t have my fists raised in the air, that is.
Though I covered a lot of ground inside the venue over the course of the evening I ended up spending a good chunk of time near the front, an achievement that served double-duty; it placed me within close proximity of my favourite live band whilst simultaneously keeping me away from the bar. So in addition to saving tons of dollars I also stayed relatively sober, which may actually count as a win-win.
Anyway, the show was predictably fantastic, another thirty-song pastiche adventure through the history of modern rock and quasi-metal. As a matter of fact, when I was up front I found myself parked next to a crew of raging metalheads that seemed out of place in my mind, if not in the venue. To me Ween is a freak-rock band – kinda like Zappa but way, way different – and while they are definitely not a hippie band (Ween is actually notorious for nipping at the hand that feeds them by hating hippies) I always thought that they drew a crowd that I would find at many other concerts I went to, like Oysterhead for example. But looking at this posse of leather-clad blackshirt ragers made me wonder if Ween isn’t considered somewhat of a metal band. What I see as parody might be considered by some to be the real deal; maybe after a raging Dr. Rock or You F***ed Up these guys spend Happy Coloured Marbles and I’ll Be Your Jonny on the Spot in the bathroom or the beer line.
Or maybe not. Those guys appeared to be the sort of people who shouldn’t be judged by the way they looked.
Anyway, despite the lukewarm Toronto crowd the band put on another epic concert that left my voice hoarse, my shirt drenched in sweat, and my body physically spent. They even played Zeppelin’s All My Love again, though the real litmus test came in the Poopship Destroyer>Blarney Stone encore. Epic.
Plus it was a Monday, which back then meant going straight the The Orbit Room to see Kevin Breit lead his Sisters Euclid through a set of instrumental gold for $6 a head. My favourite live band immediately followed by my favourite living guitar player…I can’t say which show was better, but I can report that they were both drop-dead amazing.