“We’ll crucify the insincere tonight
We’ll make things right, we’ll feel it all tonight
We’ll find a way to offer up the night tonight
The indescribable moments of your life tonight
The impossible is possible tonight
Believe in me as I believe in you, tonight, tonight, tonight…”
It’s always such a great thing when a band that is as big as The Smashing Pumpkins is still around after all these years. Granted, the original lineup is no more, but nevertheless, The Smashing Pumpkins are together and after what I saw tonight, still going strong.
In support of their latest album, Oceania, the pumpkins kicked off their 2012 tour in Mexico City and played Montreal tonight (where I saw them). They delivered an energy-packed show that showcased the new stuff and ended with a bang(!) when they played hit after hit from their back catalog.
They opened the show by playing their latest album in its entirety. Now, I love the new album. However, for a band that has not played this city in a very long time, I could tell by looking at the audience that some were getting impatient with the new stuff and wanted to hear some of the old stuff. Frontman Billy Corgan, well aware of the fact, even addressed this at some point, stating that the new stuff came first, and then the hits would be played afterwards. Hey, this is his show after all, if you don’t like it, find the nearest exit and GET OUT 🙂
The album was delivered beautifully. The light show was modest, sometimes shining on the audience. There were no screens showing multiple angles of the band like you see at most shows, but there was the backdrop, a constant circle, that showed image after image of twisting shapes and winding images that memorized:
Well, after they played Oceania, they played a cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity which for me broke the set-list in two. What followed was song after song of their past hits. I have to be honest; to me, it was at this point that the show really started to take off. I mean, right after Space Oddity they broke into an extra long rendition of X.Y.U, and then they played Disarm, and then Tonight Tonight, and it was simply unstoppable from that point on.
Another high point for me was when, while playing Tonight Tonight, they showed video outtakes or unused video from that era and then… the moon! That moon with the face. It gave me goosebumps. It took me back to when I saw that video, back when the Pumpkins were at their prime. You know what I’m talking about, this guy:
Something happened right after they played Bullet with Butterfly Wings: the played a newer song: Song For A Son. It was a little weird throwing in a new song right when they were getting the audience going with their old stuff. Strange thing is, this was the other highlight of the night for me. The song was played incredibly well, it was played a bit different than the version that was released for Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, and it was one of the only times during the show where I was so memorized by the performance, especially Billy’s wonderful lengthy guitar solo, that I didn’t even take a picture (and anyone who knows me well enough knows that I take pictures of everything). This moment was so captivating that I couldn’t think of anything else besides what I was seeing and what I was hearing.
Huh… one of the high points of the night was when they played a new song; what a surprise! Maybe we can’t really appreciate a song until it has had time to marinate in our brains. Song for a Son was one of the first songs to be released from their ongoing Teargarden project. Maybe that’s why I felt I was listening to a classic and why I was so moved by their performance of it. It felt like I heard it a million times already, and when I heard it live it felt like I heard it for the first time. Like rekindled love. Yes, that must be it!
Although the impact of what I saw tonight will likely not be felt right away, not until it finally gets a chance to sink in, I can nevertheless doubtlessly and conclusively say that what I witnessed tonight I throughout and wholeheartedly enjoyed!
Like most bands, we go through periods of listening to them and then not listening to them at all for a while. Usually when they release a new album is when you once again start to listen to the other stuff they made. I’m glad these guys are still around and I’m especially glad they are part of the vinyl re-issue revolution. Possibly one of the vinyl releases I am most anticipating ever was finally confirmed not too long ago, their re-release of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on 4 LP’s! I cannot wait! Preorder’s been payed for, can’t wait for it to be shipped! Ooh, is that a stirring in my pants? I’ve said too much! Goodnight – This is Orson Welles.