After an eventful weekend spending quality time and making memories with family it was back to the commotion, but for the start of the commotion I couldn’t have been any more excited. I had been looking forward to seeing The Smashing Pumpkins live for quite some time now, and I was in attendance not only for myself, but for my significant other as this happens to be one of his favorite bands. I arrived at the Xcel Energy Center with about 20 minutes to spare, and after grabbing some popcorn I eagerly found my seat.
The evening went off without a hitch, and Metric started the night at 7pm on the dot singing “Love You Back”. Not being familiar with this group other than checking them out a few days before the show, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Metric encompasses a unique sound compared to other musical groups, and lead vocalist, Emily Haines, knows how to get the crowd moving and engaged. Next they played “Risk”, and “Dressed to Suppress” which was released in July of 2018. Having been around since 1998, the group played an assortment of songs from past to future as rumor has it that they are currently working on their seventh full-length album. For the remainder of their set a line-up of songs from various albums were played such as, “Breathing Underwater”, “Art of Doubt”, “Gold Guns Girls”, “Now or Never Now”, and “Dark Saturday”. As the event center got busier and busier with fans in preparation for The Smashing Pumpkins, Metric’s crowd support grew larger and larger. By the time the group reached the end of their set, preparing to play, “Help I’m Alive”, for their last song the crowd was going wild. I always enjoy hearing a different style of music, and this musical group is just that. Each of them being very talented, and bringing various instruments and traits to the performance; it was nothing less than impressive.
The Smashing Pumpkins continued the evening at 8:15pm with lead vocalist, Billy Corgan, making an appearance on stage with a single spotlight on him. Fans went wild, and Corgan soon carried on to sing “Disarm”. This was one of the many songs on my list that I had hoped would be played, so enjoying myself began with no hesitation. The group soon continued on into the night with an assortment of songs from a number of their albums, “Rocket” from ‘Siamese Dream’, “Siva” and “Rhinoceros” from ‘Gish’, and “Drown” from the 1992 Cameron Crowe film, ‘Singles’. Within the first fourth of the show Corgan also performed “Space Oddity” which was a David Bowie cover. Corgan did a costume change for the Bowie cover, appearing in a shiny, silver cloak face almost completely hidden. He slowly walked up a set of stairs that were moved onto stage only to face the backdrop until just under a minute into the song, which he then turned around removing the hood of his cloak. I enjoyed watching this performance as he added a lot of character, and he’s an intriguing, unique individual to watch perform.
The entire evening was broken into four sections, if you will. Fans were able to tell that the group was starting a new part of their setlist as an interlude was played at the beginning of each section. The Zero Speech Interlude appeared after “Drown” which was a video of Corgan speaking about the song that was to come. Upon conclusion of the video the group continued on to play “Zero” from ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’. Throughout this part of their set they played “The Everlasting Gaze” and “Stand Inside Your Love”, both from ‘Machina/The Machines of God’, “Thirty-three” from ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’, “Eye” from David Lynch’s 1997 film, ‘Lost Highway’, and “Soma” from ‘Siamese Dream’. It was at this point in time that I began to realize it was going to be very difficult for fans to leave that evening unimpressed as it seems Corgan and the rest of the group did their best to make sure an assortment of songs were showcased from their musical journey.
After “Soma”, the Mark McGrath Vaudeville Interlude #1 came over the speakers and screens providing a little humor for fans, and preparing them for yet another section of the show. Upon conclusion, guitarist, James Iha, sang “Blew Away” which had appeared on the groups 1994 album, ‘Pisces Iscariot’. Corgan took a spot behind the piano for a few songs from 1998 album, ‘Adore’. Both “For Martha” and “To Sheila” were accompanied by videos of lyrical dancers which, I thought, really added character and depth to the overall performance. Since this was a slow part of the evening many fans chose to take this as a chance to give their feet a rest as well. Throughout this section of the night “Mayonaise” and “Cherub Rock” were played from ‘Siamese Dream’, “Porcelina” and “Tonight, Tonight” from ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’. Corgan also included a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s, “Landslide”, which was very enjoyable, along with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. During the Zeppelin cover Corgan took to the piano once again, accompanied by a video and a lit up shrine of sorts being walked around fans on the lower level by hooded individuals. This part of the show was quite memorable, and could have been considered a little eerie to some fans.
The Mark McGrath Vaudeville Interlude #2 appeared, and once finished the group played “1979” from ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ which, of course, got a very large crowd response. As this was the last fourth of their set before their encore, a few more of the hits were included throughout. The group played, “Ava Adore” from ‘Adore’, “Try, Try, Try” from ‘Machina/The Machines of God’, “The End is the Beginning is the End” from ‘Batman & Robin’, “Hummer” and “Today” from ‘Siamese Dream’, and lastly, two more from ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and “Muzzle”. For their encore the group played “Solara” which was released in June of 2018, and “Baby Mine” from the Disney Film, “Dumbo”.
Overall, I was very impressed with Corgan’s costume changes as they added character and an exciting twist to the evening, the video additions, and lighting. Each of these details seemed to make the performance that much more engaging; unsure of what to expect next. I will say, the group definitely hasn’t lost any talent, if anything, they have continued to grow a mastery over the years. It was absolutely wonderful to get the opportunity to see them perform, and I left the venue wishing I could watch the whole performance again the following evening.