At this point in time we don't know exactly how Aaron Freeman's current solo venture will be viewed in the history of Ween. The recent interview with Rolling Stone where Freeman surprised fans (and band members) by saying that he was retiring the Gene Ween moniker seems by some to have been a tad premature. But even after the sudden breakup, its clear where Freeman's heart lies.
While touring with the full band may not be what he needs these days, the setlist on Saturday night's gig was heavy on Ween classics. The small (around 100 I'd guess) crowd at Mr. Smalls got a tight 90 minute acoustic set by the former Papa Gener.
Gener has never big on between song banter, and the solo show at Mr. Smalls this (relatively) chilly August evening was no different. The elephant in the room was never addressed and neither was Freeman's current touring partner Joe Young. The 27 year old admitted to a group of fans after the show that he'd never even heard of Ween before this tour, a footnote that adds to the bizarre vibe of this entire experience.
While the evening felt a bit like sitting in on a rehearsal, the vibes were positive and Aaron seemed to be in good spirits. I'm fairly confident (read: hopeful) that we'll see Ween together in its proper form at some point. Until then, a quiet evening with the "former" Gene Ween was a nice way to spend a Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
Full setlist from Saturday's show: