Ween were probably far from anyone’s lips before the release of 1994’s Chocolate and Cheese, but the band were playing to half-filled rooms since 1987. Between ’87 and the album’s release in ’94, Ween toured excessively throughout the US and Europe. Now, over ten years later, the band have released a recording of their 1992 performance, Live at the Cat’s Cradle.
The show was recorded on December 9, 1992 at the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC with regulars Dean and Gene Ween (real names Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman) accompanied by a tape deck and drum machine. Fans who experienced the band’s earlier shows tell tales of the unforgettable, inspiring performance given by the two men. The recordings perfectly capture the blending of the line between the live performance onstage and the crowd. At one point during first song “Big Jim,” Dean recognises a fan and starts nonchalantly conversing with him.
Ween hold very little control over themselves while onstage, and it is captured perfectly in this release. Between their anarchic disregard for their own composition and the intense love and adoration they have for their audience, they hammer away at their much loved tracks with no fear of bastardizing them beyond recognition.
This is certainly a must for all fans of the band that have held a monumental part in shaping the alternative American scene, as well as one for those who have lost all faith in live music.