The Wilma Theatre – Missoula, MT
Words/Photos by TheNaturalStoner
Personally I had a lot of inner hype built up upon entering The Wilma Theatre to see Ween perform in Missoula, Montana. The show, long sold out, proved to be a hard ticket to find. After trading my Sasquatch Festival tickets for two Ween Wilma tickets, I was very much looking forward to some fun Weenness out in Big Sky Country. The band, city and venue did not disappoint.
The Wilma Theatre is an old 1920’s Historic Landmark Theatre in downtown Missoula. We entered the venue about 7:15 only to find lax security and easy to find drinks. Two posters and a trip back to the car later, we still managed to score “2nd row” seats behind the front pit. I had been told that this row was a great place to be, so row 2 it was. About 8:25 or so Ween took the stage to an extremely loud and rowdy (surely fueled by the easily accessible full bar in the lobby) crowd.
We had tried to predict the opener a few times over the weekend and Don’t Shit Where You Eat came up somewhere in the conversation, so that as the opener was a nice start. After that somewhat mellow intro it seemed like the band decided they wanted to rock out hard. This ended up not being a show for many Ween ballads.
Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy) and Transdermal Celebration kept the crowd enthused and the energy strong. This show was in a small, 1,000 seat venue and it was LOUD in there. With My Own Bare Hands, Voodoo Lady, Did You See Me? and Buckingham Green brought the place to a raucous level, with plenty of party favors being passed around from fan to fan. There were no camera or security hassles that I saw all night.
Your Party into Let’s Dance changed the vibe a bit, more of a fun dance along theme. Let’s Dance was a great cover, sung well (I thought the Gener looked great!) and got my feet moving. This continued for several more songs throughout the set (Touch My Tooter, Powder Blue, Ocean Man, The Mollusk, etc.) before Awesome Sound rocked the Wilmas face off. Baby Bitch and Spinal Meningitis provided a more standard feeling close to the set, with the Gener dropping his microphone during Baby Bitch creating an amusing audience sing along.
The encore of this show is proving to be my favorite part of the night. Fiesta started the encore off with a fun bang, leading into a somewhat Black Sabbath-esque “new” song with Gene singing what I believe is “Bison Burger” repeatedly. There isn’t a lot of information about this song available, but one online fan believes this was written that day or on the spot based on the many Bison Burger places in Montana. Hopefully we find out if that is accurate or not. Dean ended up blowing his amp and mic for a minute or so two during this song, but continued playing on seeming not to notice. A minute later the amp comes back and they finish it out.
Claude (who looked to be having issues with his drum kit) called out for You Fucked Up next and this was my favorite song of the night. They rocked this super hard and set up a fun finale in Fluffy. This featured a rowdy extended jam with seemingly the entire venue filling with smoke blowing from the stage. The band walked off and the venue exploded with cheers.
I didn’t get many of the songs I was “chasing” at this show, but that didn’t end up mattering one bit, as most everything played was good. A fun night was had by all, even through a long wait for a never coming 2nd encore was a blue-ball twist at the end. The house lights did not come up for a LONG time after the band left the stage, leading to a venue full of groans.
Following the show we decided to hit up a local bar and end up running into Claude and Dean drinking at our first stop. The Deaner had a hard time getting a drink ordered but ended up getting a Heineken and shot of Jameson right next to me. Eventually later in the night this lead to the prophetic statement “The Deaner doesn’t want to go to the Gorge, he just wants another drink!”
Missoula is a fun town and I hope I get to come back and have good times like this again.
Don’t Shit Where You Eat
Take Me Away
Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)
Even if You Don’t
Bananas and Blow
Learning 2 Love
Piss Up a Rope
With My Own Bare Hands
Did You See Me?
Let’s Dance (David Bowie)
I’ll Be Your Johnny On the Spot
Touch My Tooter
Roses Are Free
Unknown new track “Bison Burger”?**
You Fucked Up
* = Spinal Meningitis Intro Cymbol Tease before Baby Bitch
**= Unknown new track, “Bison Burger”? Possibly named on the spot for all the Bison Burger joints in Montana.