Smashing Pumpkins Move to SF, Fight with Seattle

Categories: Music

I hit the second of a billion Smashing Pumpkins shows at the Fillmore last night. Already the die-hards in the crowd were easy to spot. They were the ones knowingly commenting that Billy Corgan’s Edward Gory-inspired look was a repeat from Sunday’s show, and warning pals that they were in for a long-ass three hour show. Personally, I was only in for a long-ass 1.5 hour performance, as the early '90s songs I wanted to hear were a bit too few and far between (I know, I wanted that time-capsule specific showcase and Billy Corgan wanted to take the crowd through numerous mellow, acoustic-driven numbers and a couple radio hits, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” among them). Most impressive for me (and, I imagine, for the large group of, ahem, ailing medicinal weed smokers in my midst) was the massive lighting rig, stolen it seemed straight outta the Nine Inch Nails amphitheater show book.

The laser-like colored beams shot around the band in multiple hues, forming a giant, two-story cage around the band and making the Fillmore look like an arena with the feel of a more intimate performance. Another highlight: hearing Corgan tell off a crowd member during a wry moment of “reflection,” telling the dude he’d obviously chosen an antagonistic, bitter path in life. Speaking of bitter, though, seems the folks at my old paper, The Stranger, hit a nerve with the Smashing Pumpkins. A hilarious spoof of a letter from Billy Corgan turned into the real thing when it turned out Corgan couldn’t take a joke.

All silliness aside, let us know your thoughts in the next two weeks of Smashing entertainment. Send tips, reviews, Billy Corgan sightings, and anything else Smashing Pumpkins related our way. --Jennifer Maerz

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