Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I wished it were Saturday but it was really Monday night, but no matter, because it was spent with The Smashing Pumpkins at the sold out show at the Ogden Theater.  Joining me this time were wife and daughter, where they took the high ground on the balcony while I made my way up front.  This band could fill Red Rocks, but tonight they were performing for the relatively small crowd in the theater.  The reason being they are on a 12 city US tour this October, as a warm-up to a big year of touring in 2012.

I don't believe anyone in the crowd knew who the two warm-up bands were.  The first on stage were not so bad and managed to wake the place up.  However, the following band (Fancy Space People?), dressed in silver spandex suits was a bit too much for the anxious audience, with shouts of "Go back to outer space!" coming from the crowd.  Needless to say it was a short set.

Everyone came to see frontman Billy Corgan.  What a performance, lasting a solid 2 hours and 20 minutes. Not being familiar with their new stuff, it was hard for me at times to even recognize when one song gave way to another, especially since there were times the beat put me into a distant voodo dance state of mind.  Great show and the crowd did not hesitate to show their enthusiasm.

This is what was written in Westword:

If you are attending a Smashing Pumpkins show at which Billy Corgan is the sole survivor in 2011, you have undoubtedly already formulated an answer to the question that divides the band's modern fans: How many members does it take to maintain relevance? Your answer is not just "one," but "Billy Corgan," and you know better than to even think about "Disarm" or "1979." The rules of the game the band has run for years seemed to escape only one gentleman, who, like some Lone Masochistic Ranger, shouted in vain for "Tonight, Tonight" in the front row until he must have gone hoarse. If you are a Smashing Pumpkins fan in 2011, you either don't care or you have resigned yourself.

You've moved on to concept albums. Oceania, what Corgan has called "an album within an album," has rotated through several scheduled release dates at this point, and the band, always focused on new material, played four of its tracks in the sound spaces not occupied by "Muzzle" and "Cherub Rock." Immediately after the jarring emotion of "Siva" came "Oceania," a stunning but melancholy spiral that finds Corgan on the keyboard. The songs, particularly the title track, are lovely, flexible melodies less derivative of the band's font of undiluted agony than previous work.

In the meantime, it's hard to pick the correct verb for what Corgan does with his mouth. To say he wails would be at times too kind, at others too generous, and at others still even unfair -- but it's the closest approximation of the action that creates his wild but timid tone. Between songs, always tied together by a series of almost overwhelming instrumentation, the pace changes so quickly it's as if it was responding to emotion. Corgan is endlessly earnest, even in the strange moment in which he recited the alliterative lines of "Peter Piper" and "Sally Sells Seashells." "If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers," he asked the crowd, waiting for some sort of response, "where the fuck are the peppers?"

Read it all here:

Another review and more pictures here:

Download the 2:20:00 show here:

If anyone really wants Fancy Space People, please let me know and I'll post it.

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