Long live rock, I need it every night

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hardly A Smashing Success...

The more I look back, the more I feel this concert was a ridiculous spectacle. It's a shame the band that released two of my favorite albums (Gish and Siamese Dream) has fallen so much. Yet they still grasp for fame. Well, I shouldn't say they, I should say Billy Corgan. The blame clearly falls at his feet. Half the original band passed on this reunion sham. Jimmy Chamberlain is still there, but he's never left Billy's side. Perhaps he should.

I'll divide my comments into Four sections: "Oh, good!", "Oh, good God", "WTF", and "You Have to be Fucking Kidding Me".

"Oh, good!" - The good moments.

º Musically, the best moment was "Cherub Rock", the first encore. It flat out kicked ass.

º The surprise of the evening was running into Sacklunch at the show. We promptly headed to the basement bar for a drink. Take note: one of the main highlights was leaving the concert area. Not a good sign.

º Jimmy Chamberlain was solid on the drums. I always liked that guy. Back in the day I thought he was the best drummer in rock. I've since seen Janet Weiss play so I realize my earlier opinion was nonsense. Nonetheless, he can play.

º I didn't mind a few of the acoustic songs. Some find Billy's voice grating but I don't mind it so much.

º "Hummer" was another musical highlight. A few other songs were good at points, but none were better than average.

"Oh, good God" - The bad moments

º They didn't play much (if anything) off their first album, Gish, which was disappointing. "I Am One" and "Bury Me" are two of their best two songs. 90% of the songs seemed like filler. A couple songs from their early work would've been nice.
º Tarantula and Doomsday Clock are considered the "highlights" of the new album. They're decent at best but lose their appeal after a few listens. No real depth or lasting qualities. Is these songs really the best Billy can muster? Apparently they are.

"WTF" - Shit I couldn't explain or understand

º The balloon drop. Really? Are you kidding me?

º A barber shop quartet came out and sang as the intro for the band. Lame, lame, and lame.

º This Picture:

They actually handed out placards and created a fake campaign scene. Billy & Crew arrived in a old school limo with a fake security detail. They even had people "protesting" the Pumpkins. All very contrived. Inside the club there was bunting and flags everywhere, along with the previously mentioned balloon drop. I understand this was a "release party" for the new album, but it came off as resorting to gimmicks to distract from the inferior music.

º The guys dressed in modified orderlies uniforms (The Fat Boys did it better) while the bassist looked like a tarted up like Malibu Stacy doll ("Hi, I'm a bassist! Math is hard."). The get-ups contributed to the sense they were trying too hard.
º Corgan didn't address the crowd for the first 6 or 7 songs but when he finally did start he was very chatty. I thought his Bon Jovi comments kind of funny until Jim remarked that Bon Jovi had written more good songs than Corgan. I hated to admit it, but immediately I knew Jim was probably right. That realization made the whole spectacle even sadder.

"You Have to be Fucking Kidding Me" - self-explanatory

º The club was packed with people who don't go to many 9:30 shows. You know what that means: tools who think they're entitled to a four foot radius around them, people talking loudly during songs, everyone taking pictures w/ their camera phones, and worst of all, attempts to create a mosh pit. Plus, it was a total sausage fest. Of course, this isn't the Smashing Pumpkins fault, but it definitely made things a little worse.

º They played a 3 hour set. I appreciate them trying to give the people their moneys worth, but the E St. band these guys are not. There was no need to drag on that long. Had they shortened it to a normal 40 minutes set it would've been plenty. Thank God I ran into Sacklunch and we escaped downstairs for a while.

º Corgan hired a female bassist and pseudo Asian looking dude to round out the band. They looked less like band members and more like stand-ins. This was the Billy Corgan show, not the Smashing Pumpkins.

º The 2nd encore was a 20-minute, ear-bleeding rendition of "Gossamer". It was atrocious. Worst…encore…ever.

I give the Smashing Pumpkins a 2.4.


Jimbromski said...

I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating--I have attended a Bon Jovi concert, in 2003, in a 9:30-sized venue. I went in all Gen X detached/ironical, ready to poke fun. They FUCKING KICKED ASS. I stand humbly corrected. "Blaze of Glory" was fucking awesome. Plus Triumph the Comic Insult Dog opened for them.

Chip Chanko said...

2 points...

-If Billy hadn't done the limo thing, sacklunch might not have gotten in.

-I will never forgive you for not taking me to the back bar with you, leaving me to endure 3 more songs than necessary.

Jumbo Slice said...

I still feel bad we left Jim, aka Chip, upstairs while we drank beer and listened to the new Spoon album. It's my fault for leaving my phone at home. Of course, it only would've taken me a few minutes to go get him. Let's blame the laziness as well.

Pixie said...

Thanks for the review. It sounds like SP's "return" was just as bad as I'd thought it would be. Thanks for saving me the money and time.