Smashing Pumpkins in Toronto

Set:

  • Quasar
  • Panopticon
  • The Celestials
  • Violet Rays
  • My Love Is Winter
  • One Diamond, One Heart
  • Pinwheels
  • Oceania
  • Pale Horse
  • The Chimera
  • Glissandra
  • Inkless
  • Wildflower
  • Space Oddity [David Bowie]
  • X.Y.U.
    • Voodoo Chile [Jimi Hendrix] (tease)
  • Disarm
  • Tonite Reprise
  • Tonight, Tonight
  • Bullet with Butterfly Wings
  • A Song for a Son
  • Today
  • Stand Inside Your Love
  • Muzzle

Encore:

  • Ava Adore
  • Cherub Rock
  • Zero

Three quick points:

  1. For me, the highlights were “X.Y.U.,” “Tonight, Tonight,” and “Zero.”
  2. I like Oceania; however, I’m not convinced that a, it needed a complete airing or that b, its songs wouldn’t have been more effective interspersed with the rest of the band’s oeuvre.
  3. I enjoyed myself…but (and it’s a big “but”) I left the Air Canada Centre feeling a bit cold. There’s no question of Billy Corgan faking it for just one more show (as it were), and his new bandmates are all good, solid professionals. But when the band left Oceania behind and started dipping into Corgan’s back catalogue I couldn’t shake the idea that I was watching a well-drilled Smashing Pumpkins tribute act that just happened to feature the real band’s lead singer. To me, James Iha, D’Arcy, and (especially) Jimmy Chamberlin were almost as vital to the Smashing Pumpkins as Billy Corgan. It’s Corgan’s band, of course, and he’s free to juggle its membership as he sees fit…but I still didn’t feel as though I was watching the “real” Smashing Pumpkins tonight. I’m gonna sleep on it, see if I’ve changed my mind by morning. Again, I really did enjoy myself. But I need to reconcile a few things about this band and its current direction.
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3 thoughts on “Smashing Pumpkins in Toronto

  1. Here is my take on the show:
    I thought that playing Oceania in it's entirety was very good idea. It's a good record, it's sounds good played in order and if Billy had mixed new with old, the new would have been lost.
    I really enjoyed the show, I thought it was Billy best performance. I say Billy because I have seen the Band in many iterations and ultimately it's Billy who is the Pumpkins. Jimmy was missed but I would rather have a 'happy' Billy without the rest of the band than a Billy who is pissed.

  2. See, I need to accept the fact that the Smashing Pumpkins, at the end of the day, is really a Billy Corgan solo project. I just don't like the idea that a band's a lead singer with a bunch of interchangeable parts, y'know? And in the case of the Smashing Pumpkins Jimmy Chamberlin was such an integral part of their sound it's hard to listen to songs like “Tonight, Tonight” and not feel as though it's a diminished experience. What are your thoughts on Mike Byrne? Not in terms of a Jimmy comparison, but in general? Right now my friend and I are talking about him being a “good band drummer” versus a “good drummer.” He certainly sounded great playing the Oceania songs.

    I'm gonna give myself a day or so…I think by then I'll come to appreciate last night a bit more. Ultimately, I'm probably just a Jimmy Chamberlin fanboy that wanted something out of last night's concert that wasn't possibly gonna happen. šŸ˜‰

  3. Pingback: Stuff I’ve Seen at the Air Canada Centre | Stuff and Nonsense

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