We look inside The Smashing Pumpkins Reunion Tour
July 14, 2018 — “Welcome to Oklahoma City — Home of the Thunder” is what welcomes you as you enter the Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown OKC.
You can feel the excitement, an electric buzz cutting through the thick Oklahoma summer air. NBA game?, nope, this electrified atmoshere was not created by “Thunder”, but by the anticiapation of The Smashing Pumpkins taking the stage for their 2nd show of the 2018 “Shiny and Oh So Bright” Reunion Tour in OKC.
The Saturday night crowd was a diverse group for Oklahoma. Everything from Soccer Moms, to Cowboys, to Goth and Punk Rocker teens proudly sporting their ZERO t-shirts and Doc Martens. Nice to see such a diverse crowd at “The Peak, for the Pumpkins” as the locals call it. Honestly, we weren’t really sure what to expect. Especially after being asked at the press security entrance, “Are you here for the MAGIC PUMPKINS?”, Umm That’s right, the Magic Pumpkins, that’s why we’re here.
The Magic Pumpkins….I mean THE SMASHING PUMPKINS began the show with a montage of album art and video related to various releases over the years. This all displayed on a huge Super Hi-Defenition screen behind the band.
After the intro montage, frontman Billy Corgan walks on stage with an acoustic guitar and begins playing “Disarm” as the screen displays images of Billy’s childhood. A sort of, “This is me, Deal with it!”
Ooh, the years burn — I used to be a little boy — So old in my shoes — And what I choose is my choice -What’s a boy supposed to do?
After the solo of “Disarm”, the entire band joins Billy on stage. Big smiles across the faces of the band members are obvious as the crowd welcomes them with a loud round of applause. The band launches into “Rocket”.
Okay at this point I hear the ArtistWaves.com editor yelling,”We don’t do reviews”…okay okay… I could walk you through each song, aka canned review, but ::YAWWWWNNN:: that’s boring!
Plus why ruin it…? Any review of this show should have a giant “Beware! Spoliers Inside”. That’s the kind of show this is. The stage presention, setlist, hi-def big screen, monks carrying alters, all work well together. Yeah I said, monks and alters. To give it all away just feels, wrong.
Smashing Pumpkins “Shiny and Oh So Bright” Tour Line-up
- Billy Corgan — Lead Vocals, Guitars
- James Iha — Guitar (1988–2000, 2018–present)
- Jimmy Chamberlin — Drums (1988–1996, late 1998–2000, 2006–2009, 2015–2017 (touring), 2018–present)
- Jeff Schroeder — Guitars (2007–present)
- Katie Cole — Keyboards
- Jack Bates — Bass
I will say this show has something for everyone. The hardcore fan will love seeing Chamberlin, Iha, and Cogan playing together again. They will love the symbolism and artwork of the on-going media presentation behind the band. The causal or new fan will also walk away feeling throughly entertained after 3 hours of this quickly moving carnival rock show.
Frontman Billy Corgan lets the media presentation and music do most of his talking during the show. A subdued gracious Billy?, no really!
At one point Billy thanks the crowd for 30 years of Smashing Pumpkins support. “Unbelievable, Unbelievable, Thank You!”
Then he points toward fellow SP founding members James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin and says, “A handsome man like this guy and this guy ending up in a band with a freak like me, then we draw Jack and Jeff into our devils compact”
Billy also told the OKC crowd, “We don’t care who you voted for or what your religious beliefs are, we just love you!”
“We don’t care who you voted for or what your religious beliefs are, we just love you!” Billy Corgan
Also no reason to go into all the past band politics around this “Reunion”… yadda yadda yadda… tons of places on the internet to read that crap. I will however mention that Billy Corgan was recently quoted saying, “We collectively need to rebuild the public trust in our brand,”
Unlikely Billy Corgan will ever be known as a overly humble Eddie Vedder type or a media darling Dave Grohl doing carpool karaoke (Please Don’t), but if this second show of the “Shiny and Oh So Bright” tour is any indication of direction, then the “Rebuild” is on the right path. Keep having fun guys and Good Luck!
Review- Go see this historic show… Thank me later!
Note — Before playing “Landslide”, a Steve Nicks penned Fleetwood Mac cover. Billy tells OKC audience “This is a song by The Dixie Chicks”… (Looking around, seems not many got the joke, but I enjoyed the chuckle, thanks Billy!)
Below – Check out “Solara” video, the first recording in 18 years featuring founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin. Recorded in Malibu, CA at Shangri La Studios with producer Rick Rubin and longtime Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder.
For More Smashing Pumpkins Information Please Visit — http://smashingpumpkins.com
All Photography — By Michael Young
See ya on the road — — Safe Travels!
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