For the first few years of its existence, Ween played most shows as a duo. Live At the Cat’s Cradle 1992 (a live DVD/ CD combination) captures one of these early shows recorded at the famed Chapel Hill, North Carolina venue. The early shows were special affairs with Gene & Dean discovering who they are, and where their musical muse would take them. Live At the Cat’s Cradle 1992 is the culmination of an early, experimental, one-night stand between music and Gene & Dean.
Live At the Cat’s Cradle 1992 is chock full of Ween hits; an audible experience complimented by the bonus DVD. The duo works through a “Captain Fantasy” that demands intense listening, half of the song sung completely a capella, leaving you on the edge as you wait for the entrance of the foreboding screech of Dean’s guitar. “The Goin’ Gets Tough from the Get Go,” about Ween’s hometown of New Hope, Pennsylvania, is reminiscent of a child breaking out of its proverbial roots. There is also an early version of the classic “Buckingham Green” that eventually makes its way onto the band’s masterpiece The Mollusk.
The bonus DVD is a hodge-podge of clips from random the band’s first tour of Holland and Stache’s in Columbus, Ohio, and displays Ween’s early habit of talking with the crowd to help forge a strong relationship with their still developing fan base. This also helped calm their nerves since, at the time, they were essentially a “naked” two-some, letting it loose for all to see and not always being so well received. It sometimes takes a trained ear to appreciate the enigma that is Ween, since both the very visual and the musical are such a huge part of its make-up. This new DVD helps to merge the ears with the eyes.
The following of Ween, which is so well documented in its early stages on Live At the Cat’s Cradle 1992, remains a strong one due to the band’s independence and respect for odd noise. Those qualities are present in this release.
Live At the Cat’s Cradle 1992 is a true window into Ween’s inspirational past.
Live At the Cat’s Cradle 1992is out now on Chocodog.