Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins

And so to the moment most people never thought that they would see - the return of Smashing Pumpkins. Perhaps, to the purist, not the ideal way to see them, with no James Iha and no D'Arcy Wretzky. On the other hand, it has the advantage that, beyond dispute, this is Corgan's show and he and only he can be faulted if something goes wrong.

Not, of course, that indie rock's most legendary egomaniac would see it like that. He must be happy tonight, though, because he's smiling. Heck, he even jokes with the crowd, describing first English and then American girls as sluts, then suggesting that the benefit of being 'alternative' is that you can say things like that. He's not wrong and a hugely partisan crowd lap it up.

I guess there were three things that were inevitable about this show. The first is that there would be a fair smattering of songs from new album "Zeitgeist", and indeed there are, including drumthumping recent single "Tarantula". The second is that Billy would, at some point, indulge in some frenetic fretvvanking and, like a teenager alone in a bedroom, he does, with messy frequency. And the third? Well, that he wouldn't play half the songs that you wanted him to - and he pretty well doesn't.

It would be churlish to complain, though. We still get "Stand Inside Your Love", a "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" that includes an audience singalong that even Corgan is forced to concede is "not bad at all". There's a sublime, solo, acoustic rendition of "1979", an elegant "Tonight, Tonight" and the whole thing rounds off in the perfect way with "Cherub Rock". I am sated.


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