A Ween cover show has been attempted before, back on August 3, 2012, at Off Broadway in fact. I reviewed the show, which featured a larger lineup that also included the bands from this HalloWEEN show. I'm happy that all involved on the organization side decided to throw a Ween cover show again, brilliantly pinning (and punning) the legendary band to the fall season, which worked well, especially with the costumes.
Cree Rider started a bit later than anticipated. All the costumed early-arrivers stood distanced from the stage singing along. With a beer in one hand, a lycra-Spider-Man shot invisible webs at Rider on "Push the Little Daisies." Rider delivered each lyric with care supported just by his acoustic guitar. A girl in an American flag bodysuit shimmied and spun in circles, awkwardly marrying nationalism to sexuality during "What Deaner Was Talking About."
Chef Gordon Ramsey, or perhaps a guy with blonde hair and a big nose in a checkered shirt, flirted with the flapper girl with the casted hand and forearm, while "Chocolate Town" slowly turned the room a warm shade of brown. Batman dance-wobbled in circles and drank a Witbier during "I Don't Want to Leave You on the Farm." Cree, rocking a reddish Gnome-beard and a smile, invited his fiancé up to close out the set.
As Fattback started its set with "Take Me Away," a wash of costumed attendees moved inside from the gravel outdoor area, filling the venue. Hunter S. Thompson scoffed at a guy with white puffy earmuffs and a red stocking hat (was he a mountaineer?). Beetlejuice sang his lungs out to "The Golden Eel." Both costume and song were individually impressive, but the two together were even more so.
A girl in frayed jean shorts and a collared shirt threw a banana on stage after "Bananas and Blow," which was played and sung with clarity. Further, every song of the evening, barring a few (hilarious) lyrical mistakes, was spot on. Fatback cranked on with "Touch My Tooter," "Buckingham Green" and closed with "Doctor Rock," at which point I found myself peeing in the stall next to a circus strong man, who held his ridiculously-sized styrofoam barbell on his shoulder.
"The Grobe" kicked off the Feed's set. David Grelle wore sparse face paint, playing keys and doing his best Gene impression. "Roses Are Free" stood out, but "Baby Bitch" found the entire audience giving Grelle the finger and shouting, "Fuck you, you stinking ass ho!"
Cree Ride eventually rejoined the Feed for "Pork Roll Egg & Cheese and "Mutilated Lips." The venue grew hot with everyone dancing in their costumes and drinking. Three girls (dressed as what I guess were three colored dinosaurs -- red, yellow and blue) swayed at the front of the stage. During "You Fucked Up," the audience sang, cursed and reveled in HalloWEEN. "I'll Be Your Johnny On the Spot" preceded "The Blarney Stone," which was performed by a curtain call of all the bands. The audience sang the "Aye, yae, yae…" of the chorus loud enough for the surrounding city blocks to hear. Agent Mulder flirted with Agent Scully as Beetlejuice, looking a bit green, took a final slug from his beer and took off.
I left the venue satisfied. Yes, the performance was similar to the Summer 2012 version, but HalloWEEN allowed for something different. The costumes and damp, cool fall air highlighted Ween's odd-ball, genre play, allowing the now-defunct-band to evolve in ways outside its control -- just as Boognish, Ween's Demon God, would have wanted.