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An Evening with The Smashing Pumpkins (4/12/2000)

The Smashing Pumpkins

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Northrop Auditorium

Minneapolis, MN

Reviewed by Erik Iverson

I must admit I was a little worried about this concert.  I've loved this band for a long time and while I enjoy there new music, I deeply treasure older songs from the early nineties.  The last concert I went to was almost exclusively newer material, so I was hoping to get to here some of my old favorites at this show.  

The Smashing Pumpkins performed in Minneapolis on their latest tour.  Their new album, Machina, has just been released to stores within the last month.  While I was expecting that they would play a fair amount of songs off the new album, I was also hoping they would play some older songs, especially off Siamese Dream.  They didn’t disappoint me.  I got to the concert about 7:30 and walked up to my seats.  The Northrop Auditorium isn’t very large, so even though I was about the fourth to last row, the seats were still not that bad.  Before the show, smoke was already filling up the auditorium making the stage difficult to view.  A large chandelier hung above the auditorium, I felt the atmosphere of auditorium suited the band very well.  The show started, there were many many lights on the stage.  The colors were mostly bright green, purple, and red.  Also, on guitar solos and other prearranged times, bright white strobe lights would flash furiously.  The lighting made it a little hard to see the stage from up where I was, but you could still almost make out all the band members faces.

This was the first concert I’ve been to that Jimmy Chamberlain has performed in.  Let me say that he can really make a difference, I’m not a drummer but I could appreciate what he brings to this band and their music.

So what songs did they play?  I was able to write down them all with a pen and an old paycheck stub I had in my pocket.  It was very dark, I was sweaty, and had nothing to write on except my hand.  So after the show I had to decipher exactly what I had written down.  This is what I came up with, I’m almost 100% sure of the accuracy of the song names, and the order is accurate in my opinion too.  I liked how they varied the songs that they played, and paid homage to previous eras.  Here is the set list with any special notes in parentheses.

  1. Everlasting Gaze – Machina
  2. Heavy Metal Machine – Machina
  3. Glass and the Ghost Children - Machina
  4. Age of Innocence – Machina
  5. Blew Away – Pisces Iscariot (James sung this song)
  6. Crash – Adore
  7. I of the Mourning – Machina

Acoustic Set

  1. To Sheila – Adore
  2. If There is a God – I'm unsure what this is off of
  3. Disarm – Siamese Dream
  4. Ava Adore – Adore

Back to Electric 

  1. Rock On – Cover (Michael Damien)
  2. Stand Inside Your Love – Machina
  3. Zero – Mellon Collie
  4. Today – Siamese Dream
  5. Tonight, Tonight – Mellon Collie
  6. Blue Skies Bring Tears – Machina
  7. Once in a Lifetime – Cover (Talking Heads, Alternate Lyrics)
  8. Cherub Rock - Siamese Dream

Encore 1

20. Blank Page – Adore                                                                                            21. Bullet with Butterfly Wings – Mellon Collie

Encore 2

22. An Ode to No One – Mellon Collie                                                                       23. Mayonaise – Siamese Dream

So there it is, the set list.  The crowd was largely responsive to most of the songs, there were times in the middle when a new song would be playing and people would sit down and rest.  But for the large majority of the concert, everyone was standing and singing.  It is always kind of cool when they play their old popular songs like "Today" and "Disarm" and everyone is singing along.  I was surprised, and in a good way, when a lot of people were singing along to songs like "Cherub Rock" and "Mayonaise."  The Smashing Pumpkins have a very interesting fan base.  There are a lot of “old school” fans that have probably listened to them for almost a decade now, and they still come out to the concerts.  Now with the bands popularity, there is a new breed of fan.  I saw a lot of blonde high school girls wearing tight fitting Zero shirts.  I am in support of this; a lot of people think it rather ridiculous however.  I think it says a lot about the quality of a band when they can bring such a wide range of people together under roof and impress pretty much everyone.  The audience was largely young adult, mostly from the college but there was definitely a fair share of high school aged people.  

This is probably the best Smashing Pumpkins concert I’ve been to yet.  The auditorium was smaller, the stage was interesting, and the songs they played pleased me greatly, especially that they played four off of Siamese Dream.  The crowd also helped make the whole experience very enjoyable.  Billy was getting into many of the songs, doing things like his characteristic screams and changing up the lyrics.  He even chuckled a couple times during "Disarm."   

The wardrobes were classic Smashing Pumpkin attire.  I couldn't see much of what anyone but Billy was wearing, who had on a long black trench coat like outfit.  

Billy didn’t say much during the concert; he introduced the band and introduced a couple songs by name such as "Cherub Rock."  Other than that, he said some things about Brittany Spears not being good, and that is about it.  He made reference to Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura being able to "pile drive his opposition" or something to that effect.  It got quite a response from the crowd. 

I have to say my favorite song of the show was without a doubt the grand finale of "Mayonaise."  That is definitely one of my top five Smashing Pumpkins songs, it ranks up there with "Soma" and "Muzzle" in my eyes.  I had never heard it live before.  Live on CD yes, but not live in person, so that was a great surprise and the highlight of the show for me.  The songs I missed most were "Rocket", "Muzzle", and of course "Soma", but they rarely perform that live so I can't complain.  

I highly recommend this show, The Smashing Pumpkins bring a lot of energy to the stage and I left feeling very happy with the whole experience.  The Smashing Pumpkins have been my favorite band for a while; their lyrics are very powerful in my opinion and help me see things about life and love that might otherwise pass me by.  It is this quality that keeps me coming back to them, Corgan’s apparent mastery over the human spirit and condition.  When you understand their songs, and you are at a large concert with all these other people, you can't help but feel you share some common bond with them on how you view life.  It makes you feel good. Practically every song is left open to interpretation by the audience, please do yourself a favor and give this band a listen sometime.

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