PHOTOPHILE- Over-Weening: Band opens Pavilion season

Despite a sound too playful, diverse, and strange to ever achieve pop status, the 22-year-old band Ween continues to earn a dedicated following.

"Ween is a modern-day Beatles," said concertgoer Patrick Smith. "They play all genres of music."

Singer Gene Ween had what sounded like a case of laryngitis on Thursday, April 13, when his band kicked off the summer season at the Charlottesville Pavilion. But the hundreds of people in the audience didn't seem to mind. Lighters and cell phones came out for many songs, and the crowd sang along and screamed "Ween!" throughout the show.

The crowd ranged from old-school fans in their 30s to teenagers who looked like they were on tour with the band, all of them enjoying themselves in the party-like atmosphere.

Claude Coleman and Gene Ween onstage

Patrick Smith and Chris Martin

Dave Dreiwitz and Gene Ween

Sarah Burch called the show "a jolly fun time in your pants."

Cell phones and lighters greeted lots of songs.

Dean Ween