Smashing Pumpkins fans in for treat in NJ
I saw the Smashing Pumpkins at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. My wife has always been a fan, a huge fan in fact, but had never seen them perform live. This was like a concert bucket list item for her. The show was nothing short of amazing. Billy Corgan's musicianship is breathtaking. He opened with "Disarm," a song often mistakenly confused as being about abortion when it is actually about his difficult, borderline tragic childhood relationship with his parents. Corgan was the only one visible on stage as he opened with this song and performed it in front of a giant screen that showed stills and videos of him as a little boy in the 60's and 70's, the time he was going through whatever those heartbreaks were. As he sang, pictures of him were shown being covered with words like "dead, dead, dead" and "zero." Graffiti slowly covered his face. It all served as a gripping insight into whatever childhood pain steered him through the rest of his life. I remembered thinking how in one opening song he had already outperformed half the concerts I'd seen by anybody else.
The only thing that took away from the show for us is we happened to be seated with some complete jerks who thought scream-talking to each other through half the songs was totally socially acceptable. They knew some of the songs but clearly aren't fans when they are that disrespectful to the artist. Still it was an amazing show. Even the few covers they did were moving. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" were given Corgan's special texture.
Thursday night in New Jersey the band is holding its 30th anniversary performance. The crowd at PNC Bank Arts Center will be treated to a huge list of special guests. Perhaps the most interesting one on the list is Courtney Love since she was his one-time girlfriend and collaborator. Others include Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer from The Killers, Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray, AFI's Davey Havok and more.
I can't promise if they'll stick to the same setlist as last night with all the special guests, but here's the rundown from last night at Madison Square Garden.
5. "Space Oddity"
8. "The Everlasting Gaze"
9. "Stand Inside Your Love"
13. "Blew Away"
14. "For Martha"
15. "To Sheila"
17. "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans"
19. "Tonight, Tonight"
20. "Stairway to Heaven"
21. "Cherub Rock"
23. "Ava Adore"
24. "Try, Try, Try"
25. "The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning"
28. "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
31. "Baby Mine"
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