Images by: Dave Vann
JamBase | San Francisco
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No words?? I was lucky enough to have attended two of the TWELVE residency shows that the Pumpkins played at the Fillmore... I went into the first show on the 22nd with a little bit of hesitancy towards the unknown status of Corgan and Co. Let me tell you all, I stepped out onto the foggy streets of San Francisco at 1am, facing a 4-hour drive back to Lake Tahoe to attend work that morning with absolutely no regrets about the band I'd just seen. They were SPECTACULAR. For all of Billy Corgan's ego, I couldn't help but feel that maybe he was entitled to it - his guitar skills were superb and, surprisingly, his vocals were also excellent. There wasn't a single note he reached for that seemed strained ... obviously countless hours of daily practice have greatly paid off. The new album had been okay to my ear since its release, but the show really sold all of the new tunes and I've been listening to it pretty frequently ever since. I've been a Pumpkins fan for many years ... the last time I saw them was in '96 and it had been fun but I don't recall being truly impressed by the musicianship. Especially after seeing them on August 1st, the final Fillmore show (first set full acoustic, second plugged-in), I was blown away. I could keep going about these shows, but just needed to put in a comment for how glad I was to have seen them and how they truly impressed me. Who woulda' thought?? ;-) Where's the writeup on this show??
Westshore7 - Since you there, why don't you do an article for Jambase?
yup- i was there for the 22nd show too and i would agree with everything you said.weird fuckin vibe- so much different than that of being at a SCI, phish ,dead, bisco, or the usual jammy hippy fare ive been used to: everyone fucking stands their like ZOMBIES it was hilarious. when they busted bulet w/ butterfly wings, the crowd started jupming straight up and down, then stoped as soon as the band did, then backl to motionless stares, meenwhile my hippy as is banging and moshing and jumpin and rockin my ass off to the bemusement of everyone else. I cant believe i got a starla- this was my song growing up, they never played before the break, and bust it out for the one night i saw: amazing one of the greatest musical moment up there with fist SCI show, dead reunion, sts9 improv NYE set, etc. great music, beatuiful shit
bettle juice! bettle juice! bettle juice!
Would the jambase readers be heaping praise on a Phish re-union tour, if that tour only had Trey and Fishman on it, calling themselves "Phish?" Because that is what's happening here -- you have only two of the four original Pumpkins -- Billy and Jimmy. Now, it's nice that Billy is digging deep in the catalog, and he's rehearsed everyone well, and it's a reasonable facsimile of Smashing Pumpkins, but without James Iha and Darcy (or even Melissa) it's not the same.
Sick photos - must have been an amazing set of shows!Black Angels - Live performance of "Sniper at the Gates of Heaven", check it out!The Black Angels - Sniper at the Gates of Heaven!Add to My Profile | More Videos
Cocheese: Billy C. was and is SP's. He's the mastermind/musical genius. He even taught Iha and Darcy how to play their instruments...and on Siamese Dream, he played all imstruments in the studio except drums. Chamberlain's a beast on drums, but the other two, while they contributed to the Sp's, were along for the ride.
I tell you what, regardless of how bad the concert reviews may be at times on this site and how awful some of the bands that are covered here at Jambase the photography is always wonderful! Sharp, interesting and alwasys tells a story.
barnylee is absolutely right. Billy Corgan is to Smashing Pumpkins what Trent Reznor is to Nine Inch Nails. Further, Corgan and Chamberlain are to SPs what Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are to Steely Dan. The rest of the pieces are interchangable. In fact, I like them better without Iha...he was always kinda like Noel Redding, trying to get the band to record one of his crappy songs(for more on Iha, check out his solo record, if you dare). To be honest, having seen all the different Pumpkins lineups, I like this one the best. They were hired to do what Corgan tells them to do and they have to chops to execute his master plan. Now, I won't try to defend Corgan for always choosing a female bass player (does he think that people just won't notice the difference if he sticks with a female in that role?), but musically, this lineup kicks ass.
all i was saying is that it reminded me of Bettlejuice when i seen the pics. i could care less about the band. don't like their music now or back in the day. nice pics!
Well, if you can't bring talent, bring production, and Billy did that in a big way. But to what effect. I didn't think the Vegas casino light show added much, and the first soundsystem he brought in - the Clair Brothers rig, didn't sound very good at all. The second on, the French L'Acoustic V-DOS did sound better, but I think the Myers that the Fillmore has for everyone else would have been the best bet, tuned to the room and all. The top speakers did nothing but blast the back wall and create a lot of bounce back. It was not the Greek, did he need the a Greek level system?His solo stuff sounded wanky to me. Far to self-indulgent, particularly after hearing Jorma and Gaberial play just a few weeks before, both showing what that instrument in the hands of real masters sounds like.Does Billy have a factory to replace the missing pumpkins with look-a-likes? That bass was not very good, very simple riffs that almost anyone could play after an afternoon in Guitar Center, and with like 10 of them so she did not have to change keys.The drummer rocked though. Best part of the show was his drumming.
Forgot to add....EXCELLENT PIX!!!!
cocheese: I think barnylee was really directing his comment at nanatodd...yours was actually quite funny. What's up with the beteljuice shirt that Billy has worn at every show this year?
Luthur - Yeah man, I'd LOVE to write some stuff for Jambase ... all they gotta do is ask! ;-) Also, I have to throw in that the Pumpkins played for 3 hours each night. You must admit, that's pretty darned impressive.
makes me think of high school, but wasn't there so i can't really comment. we were big fans of their songs back in the mid-90s. i was curious about all the shows being in the same spot. almost seems like an allmans beacon run, but did the setlists change at all for these shows?
GrantedProductions - Thanks for the post. That's a band I will avoid.tekla - Also notice that he only plays with female bassist? A bit odd.nanatod - Nah. Phish were a band (a collaborative group and not a band in name). Pumpkins are the flagship brand of Corgan Inc. He makes a lot more cash off touring as Pumpkins than Zwan or Corgan/Chamberlin.
Dead banter video ... pretty funny
sweet pics. i saw them from the front row when they played the orange peel in asheville. Is was sick. This looks like a sweet stage setup. the band is better now than they ever have been. besides, i heard billy played bass on their old albums anyway and taught D'arcy how to play bass. They are back and better than ever.