Ween Tour Journals: Summer 2006 – With Videos, Setlists and Archive Audio
Cover Photo Credit: Christopher Ryan Altenburg @ monsterfresh.com
The first time I ever “saw” Ween was in 2007 at Bonnaroo. Except I didn’t really see them. I had just heard of their existence to be honest and I believe it was Lewis Black and Flight of the Conchords that were playing at the same time, so I went to that. But the line was next to Ween and I watched some of their set before going into the comedy tent. They seemed fucking intense, but then mellow, but then back to intense. It was weird in a good way.
Several weeks later is when I first heard “What Deaner Was Talking About” and from there I went pretty quickly into crazy music fan status, going right down the flow chart, towards the brown center called “The Pod”. I followed them around in 2010 for a bunch of shows and actively stalked the ween forum for b-sides and live recordings. I have 1000s of ween recordings saved on my music drive, and the early 2000s were my favorite that I still listen to regularly, although I’m sure the old school ween junkies are rolling their eyes reading that. Hey Cats Cradle makes it heavily into the rotation too.
It was during those years on tour that Mickey would regularly share tour journals following the show stretches. Since they’re written in almost real time, they’re not just memories, they’re recorded pieces of rock history.
Mickey has been sharing snapshots of those journals on the Ween Appreciation Society Facebook page and I’ve been grabbing them and storing them away with all my other ween memories. So here’s the most recent ones. I hunted down some pictures, videos, setlists, and archive recordings from those tours to go with the posts, but I haven’t messed with Deaner’s entries at all.
Update: you can see all of the tour journals we’ve been archiving, click here.
Enjoy, and thanks Mickey for these. It’s great fun.
Mickey’s Tour Journals
From: mickey [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 3:16 PM
tour diary summer 2006
buffalo, ny – 7/13/2006 (Thursday)
we basically wanted to play some kind of a warmup show for the all good festival (the next day) so we picked buffalo, a city we hadn’t visited for a long time. this show was great, but the only thing anyone will ever remember about it is the heat. this was the second hottest gig i’ve ever played, the worst being in deep ellum in dallas some years back. this was a total ballsoaker. after the gig i had to change all my clothes, including my jeans, which were soaked completely through. i can’t imagine what it was like out in the crowd. this was one of the rare instances where the band didn’t rehearse at all for the show and we ended up having an amazing gig. i don’t really know what that means. syd barrett died today and aaron played dolly rocker w/o letting the band know he had learned it. i was really impressed and give him mad props for it.
in some twisted way i think the real pink floyd died when syd was thrown out, they shoulda changed their name, one of my favorite bands of all-time with or without the madman though.
all good festival masontown, west virginia – 7/14/2006 (Friday)
we got to the festival while les claypool was onstage, about an hour before we were scheduled to go on. this place was in the middle of nowhere, and that’s an understatement. the map we used had us taking gravel roads that were unmarked by any signs until we finally arrived at what appeared to be a huge farm that would serve as a temporary home for around 20 thousand hippie folks. i will say, west virginia is some beautiful country. it still looks like “real america”. i got the general impression that everyone was either tripping or drunk on moonshine, or both. we played right before trey anastasio and we rocked the shit out of about 5,000 people, the rest of the crowd seemed indifferent to us. basically, a typical, unmemorable ween festival set. trey’s solo band really didn’t do it for me, actually that’s the understatement of the year. still nice to see him again but he clearly needs help. i’ll just leave it at that.
the independent san francisco, california – 7/21/2006 (Friday)
again, this gig was designed to be sort of a rehersal for the show the next day with the flaming lips at the greek theater. this was an amazing gig, we had actually played there twice almost 15 years ago when it was called the kennel club. i had slept for a total of 3 hours the previous three days and was totally psychedelicized by the time we went on. i think we played “hey bulldog” by the beatles. the restaurant down the street treated us to a free meal before the show and it was top notch. that’s about as much as i can remember.
the greek theater berkeley, california – 7/22/2006 (Saturday)
our first gig sharing the bill with the flaming lips since the mid 90’s and it was sold out way in advance. i would have to rank this gig among the highlights of our touring career. the crowd was amazing. the greek theater is my second favorite venue in the world, only red rocks is better in my opinion. we’ve had some great gigs in the bay area over the years, and also some shitty ones, but this show was a total fuckin’ blast, and i felt a sense of vindication for the last greek show where the place was 3/4ths empty. it was nice to see wayne and steven from the lips again, our paths have been crossing for many years and playing some big shows together was a cool thing to get to share.
the reno hilton reno, nevada – 7/23/2006 (Sunday)
first time ever in reno, didn’t know what to expect but i definitely didn’t expect much. it turned out to be one of the best gigs of the summer–i think reno is my new favorite, albeit awful place. we’ve spent too much time sitting around the mandalay bay hotel in vegas the past 6 years and i think the experience has left us scarred. reno is a lot less family oriented and the whole thing was more fun, and sleazier in an old school way. the stage in the auditorium is the largest in the world (i think it’s in the guinness book), they actually have an out of service boeing jet backstage and a basketball court, for no apparent reason. there was virtually no security present in the backstage area and they basically gave us free reign to wander around and do what we pleased. they styled us out with a gorgeous dressing room and one of the best spreads of food and drink on the whole tour. the show was a total blast, all over the place dynamically. for awhile we embraced the whole casino vibe and played some lounge music. afterwards we hit the casino floor and bars and had a good time hanging out with some fans. there was just a really good vibe about the whole show, can’t really tell you why, but it was just a fun night. how many times do you get to walk offstage and sit in a boeing jet smoking pot with no security around?
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately, but here’s a short clip of Hey Bulldog)
les schwab amphitheater bend, oregon – 7/25/2006 (Tuesday)
first time ever in bend, oregon too. we had a day off before the show and they kinda greeted us like the liberating army. everywhere we went, walking around the town on our day off we were thanked by people for coming. i think they sold 3,000 tickets for our show. in the past this would be the kind of show where 200 people would show up. bend is a very cool and beautiful town tucked along a river. tons of natural beauty and a lot of cool shops, restaurants, and bars. i played golf on my day off and got paired up with two middle aged guys that work for ford motor company. we shared a common love for beer and had a good time drinking and playing mediocre golf. i should mention at this point that during this whole tour the west coast has been getting totally crushed by a heatwave. everywhere we’ve been it’s been in the neighborhood of 100 degrees. this show was on an outdoor stage in a field with a view of the river. this show was insane and the crowd was wonderful. the promoters of the show treated us very well, we had a masseuse, ping pong tables, and a killer spread of food. all in all this was just a great gig, a great killer, and a reminder of why america is the best place to tour. just when you think you’ve visited every cool city you find a town like this that has it all. the only thing that was fucked up was that i decided to retire my old red stratocaster before this tour, it was time. i went to the music store and bought a brand new american standard strat for like 7 hundred bucks to use this summer. the temperature in our truck was so hot that the wood glue on the back of the neck actually liquified and all the finish on the neck cracked and the skunk stripe popped out of the neck. i can’t win. i played it like that for the remainder of the summer dates.
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately, but here’s a fan clip of Blarney Stone)
“some club boise, idaho” (Big Easy Concert House, Boise, Idaho) – 7/26/2006 (Wednesday)
well. this was our first time ever in boise too. they actually have pictures of baked potatoes on their license plates, complete with a dollop of butter. that’s about the nicest thing i can think of to say about it. the club was sort of trashy and they didn’t really return our phone calls when we tried to advance this gig. much to their surprise the show sold out. we went out and kicked boise’s ass all over the place. we also played “cocaine” by eric clapton, “hey bulldog” by the beatles, and “drop the bomb” by trouble funk. we then got into our bus and drove away, probably forever. fun gig though. this club treated us like shit, never heard of the band and din’t have an adeqaute p.a. for us. i thanked them by taking our deli tray and i popped a tile out of the drop ceiling and shoved it in there, replacing the tile. should smell pretty rancid by the time anyone reads this.
Archive.org Recording – Note the comment that says “Sound is not great on this one but it is well worth downloading just to hear deaner rap”referring to “drop the bomb” by trouble funk. Bookmarking this one for later…
in the venue salt lake city, utah – 7/27/2006 (Thursday)
aaron swore, and i remember it to this day, that we would never play in salt lake city again. he has his own reasons i’m sure, but i guess he never looked at our tour schedule and didn’t realize we were playing here until like 2 days before the gig. when we saw the venue it didn’t do much to change his mind. it was hot as balls in this place, sort of an open air warehouse with no place to escape the heat. much to my surprise he turned into mr. happy when we went onstage and this turned out to be a really long, fun gig. we played “fluffy” and ” l.m.l.y.p.” to close the show. probably about 40 minutes of music between just those two songs. really a fun gig, but salt lake city needs to find a good venue. for all the times we played there we’ve never played the same place twice and none of them have been very good clubs. no offense to the promoter and club owner, but i calls it like i see it.
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately. Besides the setlist, it’s like this show didn’t exist. Update: a friend on Facebook sent us the following video. Thanks Michelle!)
red rocks morrison, co – 7/29/2006 (Saturday)
this show sold out in two days, a lot of people travelled long distances to come. we changed the headlining slot with the lips for this one and they played before us, which meant that the stage was covered in streamers and confetti by the time we went on. we got there at like 1 in the afternoon and spent 9 or 10 hours sitting backstage, just sheer torture. the altitude totally affects you when you play red rocks (this was our 4th gig there) and you have to drink a hell of a lot of water to keep from being dehydrated. i mean like 15-20 bottles, and you still never end up taking a piss. that aside, there is no better place in the world to play a gig. for those of you who’ve been there you know how beautiful the landscape is, but i wish you could see it from the stage sometime. it just feels and looks so comfortable, like playing in your living room, except in front of more than 10 thousand people. there’s almost no way to have a bad gig there, just being there is totally rewarding in itself. the gig was amazing and we had friends and family that flew in from all over the country so it was basically a huge lovefest before and after. i hope we play there 25 more times, it will never get old. steven from the lips asked me to play “the golden eel” early in the set because they had to leave, and we did.
val air ballroom des moines, ia – 7/31/2006 (Monday)
i really can’t remember anything about this gig at all, but i’m sure we kicked ass. i spent the hour before showtime watching a man out front get arrested for driving while black. from the time he got pulled over, the search, the handcuffs, and then finally his car getting towed away, i absorbed his pain and then used it for maximum riffage and total rock action. did i mention how much i hate racist pigs?
state theater minneapolis, mn – 8/1/2006 (Tuesday)
one of the rare ween gigs in mpls where we didn’t play at first avenue. so instead i hung out at first avenue before and after the gig with my buddy conrad. the venue looked like it usually hosts symphony orchestras or some shit, and i was having trouble imagining ween playing there, it was a seated venue and all. the gig turned out to be incredible, re-affirming minneapolis on my top three list of music cities in the country–austin and new orleans being the other two. good times.
the orpheum madison, wi – 8/3/2006 (Thursday)
first time in madison, a very cool college town. all i can remember is that i ate a bunch of bratwursts and gyros. the stage at this club was like (no shit) 15 or 20 feet high, so we were actually staring eye to eye with the crowd in the balcony instead of on the floor. i think the show was killer, but i can’t remember very much about it in particular because lollapalooza was the next day and i was already looking ahead 24 hrs.
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately. Update: a friend on Facebook sent us the following video. Thanks Michelle!))
lollapalooza grant park, chicago – 8/4/2006 (Friday)
over the years we have been asked to do the travelling version of lollapalooza a number of times but we were never too into the idea. we were the headliner on the main stage for this one, playing after the raconteurs, who were absolutely amazing. i would highly recommend checking them out if you get a chance. i’d actually never heard the white stripes, or seen jack white play guitar, but they definitely have something going on. this festival was huge, i’m not sure exactly how many people were there but it looked like 60 thousand, maybe more. i thought our set was good, i never really know with these festivals. the view from the stage was insane, the whole chicago skyline at night. don’t really have much more to report about lollapalooza because we got there as the raconteurs went on, and left about 10 minutes after our set was over.
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately, and barely any video. Update: Thanks to WAS Facebook user James for the following video. I can’t for the life of me figure out how I missed this one!)
the great allentown fair allentown, pa – 8/31/2006 (Thursday)
the bill was sonic youth/ween/flaming lips at a state fair in allentown, pa. i don’t know who thought of putting the three bands together on the same bill at a state fair, but i think all three bands got a good laugh out of it. it was like the “monsters of fucked up music” tour or something. the whole fairgrounds thing is better suited for like, .38 special, molly hatchet, and ted nugent or something. anyway, it was great getting to hang out with sonic youth again and see them doing their thing better than ever. we played “let me roll it” by wings after listening to a cassette of the song like 10 times on the drive up to the show. we did an okay version i thought. it was just okay.
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately.)
the new york state fair syracuse, ny – 9/1/2006 (Friday)
this gig was almost identical to the gig in allentown the night before. we played on the infield of a race track facing the grandstand both nights. this set was really good and brown and the best part was that we beat out the monsoon rains by only a few hours. i can’t imagine what the fairgrounds must have been like for the days after our set. now i swear to god that this next part is true. if you follow the news at all, you’d know that there was a fugitive in upstate new york named ralph “bucky” phillips, wanted for shooting three state troopers and he was also an escapee from the erie prison. there was a massive manhunt underway for him right about the time we were up in that part of the state. i had only heard about the story and hadn’t seen him on the news at this point. on our drive back to new hope from syracuse i fell asleep in the van and when i woke up we were off the interstate at this tiny little gas station with a shitty little diner. the other guys were inside using the bathroom and gettting food and i was the last one to wake up and get out of the truck. as i was walking across the gravel parking lot all groggy this dude comes out of the woods walking towards me and i remember thinking as i looked at his face “if i don’t stare at the top of my sneakers right now, this motherfucker is gonna kill me on the spot.” it scared the fucking shit out of me. to make a long story short, i got home, slept for a couple days, turned on the t.v. and lo and behold, there was the same dude from the parking lot. they captured him right after that, right in that area, and no one believes my story, but it fucking happened just like i told it.
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately, but damn that story Mickey tells is intense.)
cain’s ballroom tulsa, ok – 9/15/2006 (Friday)
this was supposed to be a warm-up show for the acl festival, we actually played here with the foo fighters in 1995 and i love this club. it is the original home to bob willis and the texas playboys, who i grew up listening to, and it’s famous for decades of legendary performers visiting the club, including the sex pistols, willie nelson, and just about anyone else who matters in music. this gig was a blast, a sleeper, one of the best gigs we played all summer. the people at the club were so courteous and nice nice to us and the crowd came to rock. a great way to end the summer, since one hour festival sets don’t really count as ween shows.
(We couldn’t find any recordings unfortunately, but here’s a fan shot video that’s decent)
the austin city limits festival – 9/17/2006 (Sunday)
the last time we did this was opening for r.e.m. and there were about 15 to 20 thousand people there. i had no idea that it had become as big as it is. i think it’s sort of becoming like jazz fest in new orleans or something. we got in on saturday night, just in time to catch some of willie’s set. turns out he got busted like 12 hours later in louisiana. the festival grounds were huge, overwhelming actually. we came back the next afternoon to play our set, from 4:30 to 5:30 and again, i’m not sure how we did. i think it may have been okay, but i can’t really say. afterwards, claude and i saw the sleeper show of the weekend, the new orleans social club, in a tiny little tent with about 800 people. the n.o.s.c. is george porter and leo nocentelli from the meters, ivan neville, and a bunch of other displaced new orleans legends that are now living in austin since katrina. it was like our own private mardi gras and the music was FUNKY, the perfect way to end our summer tour. i danced so much that my feet hurt. buddy miles sat in with them and afterwards we got to meet him and shake his hand. i got to shake the hand of buddy miles from the band of gypsies, and that right there validated the whole trip to texas in itself.