Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fifteen years on, Pumpkins as fresh as ever

Back in the heady days of my youth, seeing The Smashing Pumpkins in a small, intimate venue would have been an unthinkable fantasy.

But last night one of the most seminal bands of the 90s did just that, rocking out a packed Tivoli.
For most of the crowd – largely youth of the 90s, now with mortgages and children – this isn't the Smashing Pumpkins of old.
Other than imposing frontman Billy Corgan, this is an entirely new line-up from the band that delivered Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and helped shape a generation.
Gone is bassist D'arcy Wretzky, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin.

Replacing them in the 2010 line-up are Nicole Fiorentino, Jeff Schroeder and Mike Byrne.
But while somebody like Paul McCartney would be rightly lambasted for daring to tour with an ensemble of musicians calling themselves 'The Beatles', there has never been any doubt who pulled the creative strings in The Smashing Pumpkins.

The Smashing Pumpkins is Billy Corgan. And last night, they sounded as fresh as they did in 1995.
All the classics are there, from the industrial, bass-driven Ava Adore, and the first unmistakable, beautiful opening chords of Today, then Cherub Rock and the anthemic Zero, has the Tivoli crowd in raptures.
Bullet With Butterfly Wings reacquaints the mortgage-owners with the rage of their youth and, for a song so heavy on strings in album form, Tonight, Tonight was reinvented to near-perfection.

Corgan's arrogance is evident with a feedback-driven egofest during the encore but listening to the band's catalogue, this is one man who can afford to be cocky.

Last night's gig reportedly sold out in five minutes. The lucky few in attendance can be thankful for the chance to see them in such a small venue.

Given the ticket sales, they may not have the chance again.

Review by Cameron Atfield
October 18, 2010 - 10:20AM

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