Aaron Freeman at the Fox Theatre, 11/2/12
Freeman and Young played crowd favorites with a careful ear for detail. They successfully transcribed a wide range of work for two acoustic guitars; they offered a hungry audience a quick tour through Ween's complex, unpredictable and challenging 25-year history. Overall, it was a heartfelt and sincere feat, a show that struck a chord of celebration.
But the performance also begged a simple question about Freeman's abdication of his role of Gene Ween, a move that effectively broke up the band earlier this year: The name may have been gone here, but the tunes and the spirit were still strong. With only three new songs on the evening's set list, it was hard to understand the logic behind Freeman's departure. It was hard to feel the end of Ween with any real finality.
Personal Bias: Marvelous Clouds has its moments, but I miss Gene and Dean Ween.
Random Note: During the most dramatic point of "Buenas Tardes Amigo," a song seeped in fratricide, murder and revenge, someone yelled out "Die Motherfucker!" It was perfect.
By the Way: Opener Brent Cowles set an acoustic, understated mood for the evening. The frontman of You, Me & Apollo mixed earnest, falsetto-laced vocals and chords strummed with bare fingers. Tunes like "Before I Die" echoed straightforward approach of folk singer Brett Dennen, a sound more suited to a coffeeshop than a stadium. The approach worked in the cozy space of the Fox, and the steadily growing crowd was vocal in its appreciation for Cowles.
Fox Theatre - 11/2/12
"As I Love My Own"
"Flutes of Chi"
"What Deaner Was Talking About"
"I Don't Want to Leave You on the Farm"
"Even If You Don't"
"Tried and True"
"Ooh Va La"
"Right to the Ways and the Rules of the World"
"Light Me Up"
"Stairway to Heaven" intro/ "Buenas Tardes Amigo"