Mars Life


That Fresh Concert Feeling

Sunday night I finally got to see Ween after not seeing them in three years. Good times, good times. Those who don’t know Ween should know that they will fit into one of two categories: those who love Ween, or those who are scared by Ween. Well, to be honest, not everyone who doesn’t like Ween is scared by them, but they really are a “love them or leave them” kind of band, and if you leave them, you usually leave them way back in the dust.

Needless to say (ahhh, the statement that screams “I’m about to tell you something”), it was quite a blast for us “love them” types. The show was the third in a three night stand they pulled at the Vic Theatre over the weekend. Being a Sunday show, I think they were even still selling tickets when my friend Eric and I arrived. They added the date at the last minute due to the first two shows selling so well. Plus, it was taped in addition to Saturday’s show for an upcoming DVD. Hell yeah!

Now let me just say, Ween are the biggest rock stars on the planet. Gene and Dean are just incredible at the ridiculous music they produce. I’ve always been attracted to groups who don’t put so much weight on “meaningful” lyrics. For that reason among others, Ween was always bound to be a favorite of mine. I like They Might Be Giants, Beck, and Phish partly for the same reason. It’s great to hear a band that can play the hell out of a song and put complete emotion into tunes that, when broken down to the actual lyrics, leave you thinking, “What the hell did they just say?”

So now I have that fresh concert feeling, where all you can think about is how great the verses sounded coming through a huge freaking sound system, how the guitarist looks when he’s playing a solo, how all the band members interact in between tunes, and so on. Aaaaah. That’s why I go, friends, I’m a junky for that fresh concert feeling.

Let me tell you, too, Ween does not disappoint in that area.

Seeing Ween live is a pretty damn unique experience, concert-wise. You will not get a break from the rocking. Not to say they don't put together a good mix of themes, the point is, these bastards play upwards of two and a half hours without a set break. You also can't help but feel like your being brainwashed by Gene Ween. Gener has an incredible range, which is on display in just about every tune he sings. The hypnosis effect comes into play when you actually watch his hand motions and eyes (which I swear are set back at least a foot in his head) as he sings the lyrics. He feels the nonsense he's spewing, and sells it very well. You could very easily miss all that watching Dean play lead guitar, though. This man's best solos are played hunched completely over, with his guitar hovering like three effing inches above the stage. I could watch another show right now, can you tell?

So that's the Ween show. Now here's what us Sunday night fans were treated to:

Buckingham Green
HIV Song
Spinal Meningitis
Baby Bitch
Take Me Away
Wavin' My Dick In the Wind
Mr Richard Smoker
Even if You Don't
Voodoo Lady
Roses Are Free
I Don't Want It
Little Daisies
Capt. Fantasy
You Fucked Up
Dr. Rock
Tear For Eddie
The Argus
Can't Put My Finger On It
Puerto Rican Power
Ocean Man
Pandy Fackler
Freedom of '76
She Fucks Me
Don't Laugh I Love you

Don't Get Too Close (To My Fantasy)
These Eyes keyboard tease
Mr. Won't You Please Help My Pony
If You Could Save Yourself

So that's my Sunday night. Quite a fun time, long overdue, and not quite enough Ween. Can there ever truly be enough, though?

More to come.


Maddy Billison

Well, here we go again, back to school. I've recently come to the conclusion that I can no longer ignore the right hemisphere of my brain. Since moving to this wonderful town, I've been so enthralled by my creativity (as egotistical as that sounds) that I've been a spoken word poet, playwright, screenwriter, narrator of a small play, director of a short film, director of photography for another, founding member of a film company, improviser, flash designer, blogger, and flash animator. Whew! You know, that's the first time I've broken it down like that. But I digress. What I'm trying to say is that being in a town of so much artistic stimulus has left me extremely restless and asking myself the all too familiar question of 'what do I want to do with the rest of my life?'

The answer, as much of career suicide as it sounds, is not 'analyze HRIS data'. It would be so easy to live out the rest of my life, career hopping, or working toward a pension, or even crawling my way up to a nice six-figure salary someday if that was the answer.

That's why I say I just can't ignore it anymore. I really do need to follow what I'm passionate about. I've always sort of known that it was something creative. The hard part was pinpointing what that was. At least I had it pinpointed to 50 percent of my brain.

So I've now applied to a small design, fashion, and culinary specialty school here in Chicago. If all goes well, come January, I'll be starting a BFA program at the Illinois Institute of Art in a Media Arts and Animation program.

One good thing is all the general education requirements I'll get to skip due to my existing BS from UConn. Also, it's a school that has a lot of enrollment from people in my 'mid-career, needing a drastic career change' situation, so I won't necessarily feel like I'm eighty in class. The best part, besides working toward something I enjoy, of course, is that I have a little leeway and can change my 'major' a bit into the program because of all the intro courses that the different programs share.

Yes indeed, it's a good time to be me... soon to be busy and happy.

Drop me a comment to let me know what you think. I know some people have been visiting, as I've consistently gotten hits lately. I have been less than diligent about updating, but am very glad to know people have been visiting my home out here on the web.

Know this, though, definitely more to come (god, I always say that)...

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