Photos by Chris Rotolo
When tragedy strikes, it’s often that the arts community will band together to raise funds for those in need, raise the spirits of those in despair, and rebuild ravaged communities with what they so desperately need…a musical escape from the everyday, and what’s more, an assist toward a return to normalcy.
On Wednesday evening, an artist with great ties to the Jersey Shore, Miackey Melchiondo (Dean Ween), ventured to The Saint to raise funds for a Super Storm Sandy-ravaged brethren, Nick Honachefsky, with a bill of collaborators including the curator’s past outfit Moistboyz, front-man of Princeton-based Band Of Changes, Chris Harford, and members of the recently defunct Ween, such as stick wielder Claude Coleman Jr. and ivory tickler Glen McClelland.
Wall to wall Weeniacs in varied attire, from the scraggly-headed hippie to the proper pea-coated hipster, acted as evidence to the broad scope of accessibility and influence Melchiondo’s former project had on our culture, as Ween’s peculiar genre-hopping catalogue has appealed to the likes of Pat O’Niel Riley (SNL), Chef (South Park), and generations of underground music scene inhabitants…and The Saint played the role of melting pot.
Those brave enough to blaze a trail to the foot of the stage, winding through the throng of bystanders, head bangers, and unholy rollers entered a world of utopian debauchery, as ghastly grinning children of the flowers sizzled and melted to the tile below, wanting nothing more than for you to take their hand, take the plunge, and ride a series of elongated six-string meandering into psychedelia-laced oblivion…then the party really began.
Witnessing a bevy of patrons moving toward the door by their own accord or occupational circumstances, Melchiondo concluded the jam session and moved toward an eight-song set of classic whiskey-drenched Ween cuts that featured the instrumental prowess of Coleman and McClelland on “Fiesta,” followed by “My Own Bare Hands,” and an ode to the mentally unstable woman of the night who serviced Melchiondo underneath the Asbury boardwalk many moons ago, “Pandy Fackler.”
Melchiondo and his all-star band closed out the evening with a turbulent rendition of “Never Squeal,” as well as a “Tear For Eddie,” “Stroker Ace,” “She Fucks Me,” and “It’s Gonna Be A Long Night,” before calling back to the planks Dicky Moist and company to close out this musical fundraiser with a charred interpretation of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black).”
Check out photos from the evening below: