A Long Night With Ween

Jimmy Wilson dishes it up from the Ween gig in Prague.

“don't call your mother—don’t call your priest
don’t call your doctor—call the police
you bring the razor blade—I’ll bring the speed
Take off your coat—it’s gonna be a long night…”

--Ween

Felt anything unusual bubbling out of Žizkov Tuesday night? You should have. The boys from Ween were here – and they picked Prague to unveil their latest rocker. Dubbed “It’s Gonna be a Long Night,” this Motorhead-inspired thrash-metal number set the tone for the show. And it was a long night – at least as long as Akropolis’ 10pm curfew would allow.

Crammed into this three-hour bonanza of noise were tunes from all slices of the musical spectrum -- and by the time the shards of smashed guitar settled, the divergent sounds had come together like a raggedly perfect prism.

Ween kicked ass.

And they did it in the spirit of the great punk bands and garage bands – not so much with virtuosity and chops, but with inventiveness, raw energy, and attitude.

We got hillbilly rock (“Piss Up a Rope”), prog-rock (“Buckingham Green”), a South-of-the-border tale of revenge (“Buenos Tardes, Amigo”), and a bitter lover’s lament (“Baby Bitch”). There were choice cover songs, including a booty-shakin’ turn through Prince’s “Kiss” and a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “All of My Love” that was just too good to be funny. And we were treated to a healthy dose of that idiosyncratic Ween weirdness, with an extended romp through the twisted singsong “Happy Colored Marbles” and the childhood nightmare “Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down).”

They also played my personal favorite, the poignant “Waving My Dick in the Wind” – which just makes you happy to be alive.

But more than anything, what brought the audience to peak after peak was when the band got nasty. And this they did often. From a particularly evil version of their Afro-Caribbean funkbomb “Voodoo Lady” to the shredding debut of “It’s Gonna be a Long Night,” Dean and Gene made it clear that they came to Prague to play hard.

My only complaint – the vocals weren’t turned up enough in the mix – which was unfortunate for the people who love Ween’s lyrics, and a tragedy for those who don’t yet know them.

But even this flaw couldn’t spoil the fun, on this long night when Ween showed us once again what rock and roll is all about.

Jimmy Wilson can be caught with his monkey tamer at letters@prague.tv.

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