The Smashing Pumpkins kicked off their tour last week at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, surprising audiences with a setlist composed mostly of rarities and brand new material.
A group of Pumpkins fans recorded the entire concert on video, and edited them together with multi-angle shots and great audio quality for a great presentation – an ample substitute for those who can’t make it out to one of the shows.
Keeping the same band lineup as last year’s tour (which we caught in Tulsa,) the Pumpkins sound rejuvenated and more alive than they have in years. A triplet of tracks from the new LP Oceania made the show, including Quasar, Panopticon and the title track to the upcoming album.
Of the three, Oceania is arguably the best. Corgan starts off on keys, playing a haunting melody as the rest of the instruments come in. As Billy alternates between the keys and guitar, the song turns into the most Pumpkin-ish track he’s put out in years.
The song is divided into several sections, each taking on a decisively different sound. At times it sounds a bit like a darker take on material from Siamese Dream; Imagine The Cure reinterpreting the seminal 90s album. Another section of the song finds both Corgan and guitarist Jeff Schroeder dual-soloing like a significantly less metal Iron Maiden.
Much later in the show the band pulled out the rarely played Thru The Eyes of Ruby from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It was the track’s first live appearance since the original Pumpkins’ disbanded in December of 2000 and the crowd was more than happy to see it rotated back into the live show.
Thru The Eyes of Ruby video:
Ending the main portion of the show was the even rarer For Martha. 21-year-old drummer Mike Byrne stepped to the keyboards for the first portion of the song, faithfully bringing the eerily beautiful melody to life. Eventually he steps back to the drums and the song continues to build into one of the better tracks from Adore.
The new record is supposedly coming out in November. If this concert and the other tour dates since have been any indication, Corgan maybe have found some of the magic that’s been missing the last few years – Color us cynically optimistic for the new record.
Here’s the video of the entire concert for you viewing pleasure. New songs Quasar and Panopticon begin at 44 seconds in and 6:46 in, respectively. If you want to dial it back a few years, set your timer to 39:40 for a one-two punch of Soma and Siva.
Smashing Pumpkins Setlist: Quasar, Panopticon, Starla, Geek U.S.A., Muzzle, Window Paine, Lightning Strikes, Soma, Siva, Oceania, Frail and Bedazzled, Silverfuck, Obscured, Suffer, Thru the Eyes of Ruby w/ I Am One outro, Cherub Rock, Owata, My Love is Winter, For Martha,
Encore: Pissant, Bullet With Butterfly Wings
We’ll keep you posted on Oceania‘s release.