Ween, the irreverent rockers from New Hope, Penn., took to the stage at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas for an incredible three-night run of sold-out shows over Presidents’ Day Weekend, Friday, Feb. 17 – Sunday, Feb. 19.
The shows began nightly at 8 p.m. as pseudonymonic front men Gene and Dean Ween (Aaron Freeman and Michael “Mickey” Melchiondo Jr., respectively) were backed by longtime band members Dave Dreiwitz (bass), Glen McClelland (keyboards) and Claude Coleman Jr. (drums).
As the band took the stage, Dean Ween acknowledged the fans with a knowing, tongue-in-cheek, “What’s goin’ on, Brooklyn?” and confessed with a wry smile, “We’re really just here for the bowling.”
Wasting no time, Ween kicked off with fan favorite “Don’t Shit Where You Eat.” The first night’s set list was well received by the eager audience, causing Dean Ween to call several visible audibles, changing up the song selection on the fly to further fuel the energy of the crowd. Favorites like, “Transdermal Celebration,” “Mr. Richard Smoker” and the hard-rocking slam jam “Nan” all made the night one catalogue. Angelo Moore, saxophonist from Fishbone, surprised the crowd and joined Ween on stage for “Your Party.” Midway through the night, the die-hards in the crowd demonstrated their knowledge, roaring as Dean Ween announced, “This is my favorite Ween song,” knowing that “Mr. Would You Please Help My Pony” was on deck.
“We witnessed a bit of history this weekend,” said Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas Senior Vice President Chris White. “It’s rare to find a band with such an enormously loyal following and a storied history like Ween’s, yet with so few recent performances. We knew the place was going to come to life like never before. And we were extremely pleased to have been able to offer that at Brooklyn Bowl here in Las Vegas.”
On Saturday, Feb. 18, Relix, the media company owned by Brooklyn Bowl founder Peter Shapiro, hosted the “Let Me Lick Your Plate Brunch and Bowling Tournament.” Teams of bowlers invaded all 32 lanes of Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas’ two-story alley, competing for a chance at the top prize of VIP tickets and a $300 food and beverage credit for Ween’s Saturday night performance, as well as a Relix prize pack. The winners, a local team from Las Vegas, along with other bowlers and guests of the restaurant, enjoyed Brooklyn Bowl’s converted menu, where all dishes were renamed after Ween songs and albums. Highlights included the “Egg Cheese Satan” sandwich, the “Mushroom Festival in Hell” omelet, the “Big Sloppy Jilm,” the “Boys Club” sandwich and the “How High Can You Fry” chicken platters.
On night two – Saturday, Feb. 18 – Ween continued to wow fans with their seemingly endless repertoire, playing another extensive slice of their library with songs like “The Mollusk,” “Bananas and Blow,” “Fat Lenny,” “How High Can You Fly,” “Mutilated Lips,” “Sorry Charlie,” and the often Phish-covered “Roses Are Free.” The song-to-song contrast between Ween’s songs, like the country-stylized “Wavin’ My Dick in the Wind” and soaring space-rock anthem “Captain Fantasy,” was not lost on an audience whose movements seemed to mirror the unique progression of the set.
Night three – Sunday, Feb. 19 – included a flurry of Ween classics like “Buckingham Green,” “Big Jilm,” “Voodoo Lady,” “Spinal Meningitis (Got Me Down)” and a cover of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades,” with bassist Dreiwitz taking a turn at lead vocals. The evening was punctuated by a surprise on-stage guest. Not a musician, as in night one, but a pair of fans who were greeted with hugs by Gene and Dean Ween, right before the gentleman guest unsuspectingly dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend in front of 2,200-plus excited onlookers. She said yes.
For real-time show announcements and the latest information, follow Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For the most up-to-date show lineup, or to schedule your next event at Brooklyn Bowl, visit www.brooklynbowl.com/las-vegas/. If you would like to be added to their email list for first information about upcoming shows, email LasVegasNewsletter@BrooklynBowl.com.
Photo credit: © Erik Kabik/ErikKabik.com
Ween is an American alternative rock band formed in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in 1984 by childhood friends Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo, better known by their respective stage names, Gene Ween and Dean Ween. After meeting in a middle-school typing class, the two began playing music and immediately chose the name Ween as well as their Ramones-inspired pseudonyms. Ween performed as a duo backed by a Digital Audio Tape for the band’s first ten years of existence before expanding to a four- (and later five-) piece act. The band’s highest-charting single is “Push th’ Little Daisies”, which was a hit in the United States and Australia. – Wikipedia
Learn more about Ween on their website, Ween.com.
About Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas
Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, the brand’s third location, boasts three levels spanning over 80,000 square feet and is one of the largest performance venues of its class in America. Early on, People Magazine projected the venue as “on the fast path to being Vegas’ über cool place” and in 2015, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas cracked the top 20 in Pollstar’s Top 200 Club Venues for Worldwide Ticket Sales. Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas has been voted “Best Music Venue” in the 2016 Las Vegas Weekly “Best of Vegas” awards and was honored with the distinction of “Best Music Booking” by Vegas Seven magazine.
Located on The LINQ Promenade, the open-air district in the center of the Las Vegas Strip, the multi-dimensional space boasts 32 lanes of bowling, six on-site bars and rockin’ comfort food by the world-renowned Bromberg Brothers’ Blue Ribbon Restaurants, including their iconic Fried Chicken celebrated on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” On any given night, more than 2,000 concertgoers can enjoy live music programming from the general admission area, the luxurious bowlers’ lounges adjacent to the lanes, or the private lounge boxes overlooking it all. Since opening in March 2014, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas has seen notable performances by Bryson Tiller, Jack White, Disclosure, Alabama Shakes, Modest Mouse, Chance the Rapper, Robert Plant, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Roots and Jane’s Addiction.