Written by: Geoff Tischman
Only a few days into their Winter tour and the Dean Ween Group tore through the Brooklyn Bowl like a well-oiled rock and roll machine.
Alongside bandmates Dave Dreiwitz, Claude Coleman Jr. and Glenn McClelland, the Dean Ween Group has quietly become one of the best live acts around. With 150 shows set for 2017 and another 30 with Ween planned, the DWG’s braintrust Mickey Melchiondo is a busy guy.
So busy, in fact, that there’s even a new Dean Ween Group record on the way later this year.
“Thanks to all of the touring we did in 2016,” Melchiondo told Jambase, “I would say half the material in a Dean Ween Group set can be brand new, not even on the record. We could cut a song tonight, and it’ll be in the set tomorrow.”
As for the setlist for DWG shows, he went on to say: “Ween setlists are fluid. I’ll write one, and it’ll be about 35 to 40 songs, and sometimes we change everything, including the first song, which maybe we’ll steal from what was written as the last song. We always take a last look at it. I change it every night. Dean Ween Group, though, is even more radical than that. We could hear a song on the radio on the way to g the gig, not even try to soundcheck it, and open with it, and then never play it again.”
The DWG’s Brooklyn gig was an inspiring, idiosyncratic and wildly inventive experience–the band played a spate of Ween covers (“Spirit of ’76,” “Tender Situation,” “The Rift”), a Parliament number (“Do That Stuff”) and scorching takes on “Dickie Betts” and “Sunset Over Brooklyn.”
It was a hell of a night and if you’ve ever seen the DWG, it’s nothing like the last gig you saw–it just keeps getting better, weirder and cooler.