Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: Smashing Pumpkins

I cannot believe the time the tickets went on sale to the date they arrived. It was like there was no time to prepare. There I was, Tuesday 9am with the credit card out and fingers on the keyboard just waiting for the confirmation that I had purchased tickets to the Smashing Pumpkins.

The last time they came to Auckland I thought it was a once in a lifetime experience, because really...who comes to New Zealand? Yet the Smashing Pumpkins came again and I was delighted to see them again.

I was thinking that they would be playing an acoustic set because they were playing at the Town Hall which would only contain around 3000 people. The intimate venue would have been a perfect place for something such as an acoustic set. They didn't however.

Billy came on and blasted a new song called The Fellowship. It wasn't long after that singles like Today and Bullet With Butterfly Wings came on to amp up the crowd. I was very impressed with the array of songs they choose. There were songs from almost every album and it wasn't just singles they broke out. 'Shame', 'Glass and the Ghost Children', 'Eye' and an awesome more rock version of 'Stumbleine'. Yet, as with most concerts there would be many there that only knew the singles and every time he played one of them the crowd seemed to be subdued, which is a crying shame as there are many quality non-single songs they have produced.

Around the middle Billy introduced the band members one at a time, which is probably needed as Billy is the only original member of the group. Some say Billy is egotistic and arrogant. I say, why shouldn't he be? He is the heart and soul of the band.

The set he played (from memory, pretty sure I missed some...not in order) were, The Fellowship (new), Freaks (new), A Stitch in time (new), Song for a Song (new), Spangled (new), Today, Eye, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Zero, United States (which he played, stopped and played Star Spangled Banner and Moby Dick (Led Zep Song) and a drum solo for 10 minutes + before he resumed), Ava Adore, Cherub Rock, Shame, Glass and the Ghost Children, Tonight Tonight, Stumbleine, Stand Inside Your Love, Tarantula and an EPIC version of Gossamer.

My favourite part was most definitely the first two songs of the encore. Billy got out the acoustic and played one of his new songs 'Stitch in Time' and 'Disarm'. Just Billy and his guitar. Magic.

Would it be too much to ask for Smashing Pumpkins unplugged to come here? I've got a perfect set for him to play...maybe I should email him.