Ween puts on a show at the Orpheum, April 29 and 30.
The boys are back in town! No, not those boys. Guided by the unwavering hand of the Boognish, the twin colossals of chaos, Gene and Dean Ween returned to the Big Easy for the Fest After Dark series at the Orpheum Theater. Fans were in store for back to back evenings of Ween and only Ween. Last time the stoner rock artisans in their entirety played in New Orleans was Voodoo 2009. So, on the first weekend of Jazz Fest 2022, they played not just Friday, but Saturday night to boot. Fans, followers, and fest-goers alike flooded the venue both nights.
Ween's catalogue of music is a diverse array, full of influences, not unlike NOLA, which is why anyone can find a flavor they like somewhere in the richness of it all. This always reflects in their live gigs, which showcase everything from polished high school demos to the latest crowd favorites, and even the occasional classic cover. Ween haven't had to promote a new record since 2007, so set lists are as random as roll of the dice, and they like it that way. Of course, they took advantage of the heat down south to shake out some "Golden Country Greats" and the almost too appropriate "Voodoo Lady."
Mickey Melchiondo's guitar solos were only matched in awe by his grotesque, silly expressions of passionate playing. Aaron Freeman looked happier and healthier than ever, a wide grin hardly ever leaving his face along the animated vocals. An encore was deserved and demanded after both shows, lending eight more songs in total for the run. "Well, it's time for us to say goodbye... to New Orleans… crawfish etouffee…" Deaner put eloquently. "Someday," with its hopeful sound, was the final song of Ween's visit to New Orleans.