by Jeff Hahne
Aug. 16, 2008
The Deal: '90s alt-rockers pack Ovens Auditorium for two-and-a-half hour show.
The Good: The house was packed as Billy Corgan and the gang went through a variety of songs from their career - the hits and obscure. The show kicked off with last year's hit comeback single, "Tarantula." An extended "United States" was complete with Corgan's rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" - he even played with his teeth! The band performed a three-song acoustic set in the middle of the show and closed with an encore of the unique acapella duo of "We Only Come Out At Night" and "In the Summertime" - both complete with kazoo solos. (Yes, you read that right...) The main set ended with a 15-minute cover of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun." Smashing Pumpkins showed their jam side on this tune and plenty of spacy others. It was clearly the Billy Corgan show as the other members of the band were quiet in the background. Jeff Schroeder found a few moments to shine on guitar and bassist Ginger Reyes offered some harmonious background vocals, but for the most part, their stage presence was non-existent. On an unrelated note - for those of you who have paid $11 for a 24-ounce beer at Verizon Wireless this season, the same beers were only $5.50 at Ovens.
The Bad: A fun moment came when Corgan invited a Cubs fan and his friends to a few open seats in the second row, but drew a round of yells from the crowd when he continued rambling. When someone shouted to "Shut up and play guitar," Corgan responded, "I forgot how..."
The Verdict: An interesting venue and show, but not one of the Pumpkins' best. Fans that wanted more obscure tunes and longer jams walked away happy, but I heard a handful of disgruntled attendees on my way out.
Once Upon a Time (Acoustic)
Again Again Again (Acoustic)
The Rose March (Acoustic)
Bullet with Butterfly Wings
The Beginning is the End is the Beginning
Heavy Metal Machine
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
We Only Come Out At Night
In the Summertime