The Smashing Pumpkins, who can forget. I can remember a long time ago “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” being one of the first albums I ever bought. I can remember it distinctly due to its hefty double album price tag of $17.99 which was a lot of money for a 13 year old. But it was worth every penny. I must have listened to this album religiously for the better part of all my teenage years. It defined my rebellious rock n roll high school days and definitely influenced me as a musician back when I was playing bass in different rock bands. With that being said when I heard the Smashing Pumpkins would be playing the Patriot Center I was excited to say the least especially since I had never seen them live.
To call what I saw the Smashing Pumpkins would be questionable; with the only original Smashing Pumpkins member being Billy Corgan. But what are you suppose to do if you’re Billy Corgan? Just stop playing and making music just because your band broke up? No! Of coarse not and more credit to him (even though admittedly the Smashing Pumpkins did kind of fall off my radar after their 6/7 year recording hiatus). After that long stretch of time sadly I did not keep track of the new Smashing Pumpkins albums such as “Zeitgeist”, and “Oceania”. I didn’t even know this was the “Oceania Tour”. I just knew it was the Smashing Pumpkins and they would be playing hopefully all the classics I never got a chance to hear live.
They started the concert playing all “Oceania” songs. It was alright, like I said I was completely unfamiliar with any of these songs. It was a slow atmospheric rock n roll electronica. There was giant white sphere on top of the stage projecting human anatomy art and graphics. It sounded good; there were a lot of extended synth solos, a tribal rhythm, and deep driving bass. It was an interesting performance but I’m not going to lie I got excited when they rolled that keyboard off stage from in front of Billy Corgan and handed him an electric guitar because I knew it was time for some classic pumpkins.
It was hard initially to recognize which songs were being played “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” started as a drum and bass solo which isn’t like the original song but when Billy spoke those all so familiar lyrics “the world is a vampire” the crowd went nuts. His singing sounded great, and his guitar playing was just as good. You could feel the energy in the arena just come to life when Billy Corgan started whaling on the guitar. It just seemed natural. They also played one of my all time favorite pumpkins songs “Tonight, Tonight” I was a little disappointed the cello parts weren’t included in the live performance like how it sounded on the album. It was still awesome. Hearing this song live was satisfying, and it really struck a chord. Of coarse they played “Zero” which rocked the house and got everyone excited. These hard rock songs was when the arena just changed. It was just filled with joy and excitement. They did play a new song which returned more to Smashing Pumpkins hard rock roots which was entitled “Dream Machine” I really liked it and you should check it out. Unfortunately they didn’t play all my old favorites like “1979” and “Today” but still a great show.
Even though all the original band members weren’t there I still feel like I can say I saw the Smashing Pumpkins live. I’m rejuvenated about their return and am going to back track and check out their new albums. I have some catching up to do. Billy Corgan’s a great artist and performer you should definitely see the Smashing Pumpkins live. A quick note they also played an awesome cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. The more I think about it the more I realize how good this show really was.