When bands kick off a tour they are often rusty and display jitters of nervousness. Smashing Pumpkins displayed neither of those traits as they ignited the Wiltern with a two hour twenty-one song set ripe with deep cuts, fierce new tunes and a few hits for good measure. Longtime fans had to have been pleased as they dusted off songs from their 1991 debut album Gish and a smattering of selections of their 1994 compilation album Pisces Iscariot.
The lead off track “Quasar” from their upcoming album Oceania
started the proceedings and was a full out auditory assault. The
opening notes of “Starla” took me by surprise as I can't remember
hearing the song live in a number of years dating back to when I first
saw them at Lollapalooza in 1994. Billy Corgan finished off the song
with a searing guitar solo on his custom Fender Stratocaster.
jaw hit the floor upon hearing the creamy distortion of “Geek U.S.A”
which they haven't played live since 1999. This show was turning special
very quickly. A gorgeous rendition of “Muzzle” left me in disbelief as
the Pumpkins were reaching back far into their catalog seemingly
selecting fan favorite songs.”Window Paine” featured more fiery fretwork
by Corgan along with some rock solid drumming from Mike Byrne.
Strikes” had guitarist Jeff Schroeder noodling away all over his
fretboard as Corgan carried the galloping rhythm. Sounds of thunder
proceeded “Soma” as Corgan would unleash another mind bending guitar
solo. “Siva” soared with its bouncing bass courtesy of Nicole Fiorentino
and ending with Corgan cracking a smile.
was expansive, psychedelic and dreamy with its liquid guitars and
Corgan hunkered over a keyboard to add delicate washes of noise. The
song was punctuated with some dual guitar soloing in the vein of Judas
Priest and Iron Maiden. “Frail and Bedazzled” was a unabashed guitar
romp featuring more fancy guitar work.
got even heavier as “Silverfuck” was deafening with its detuned guitars
and patented Corgan screams. Corgan would later switch to a hollowbody
guitar for the spacey “Obscured”. “Thru The Eyes of Ruby” was chock full
of phased guitars and ended with a tease of “I Am The One”. A
stuttering snare drum signaled “Cherub Rock” and everyone in the Wiltern
would proceed to roar loudly in approval.
crisp guitar jangle of “Owata” was uplifting as the Pumpkins kept
things moving at a high level. Byrne moved from his drum kit to the
keyboards for some fancy key strikes on “For Martha” to close the main
set. Corgan would thank everyone for coming stating that he had the best
fans in world. A ripping take on “Pissant” and nearly speed metal
version of “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” capped one memorable night with
the Smashing Pumpkins. This was a Coachella headliner worthy set
without a doubt.
impressed as they played selections from their new album Buzz Kill City.
Led by Joshiah Mazzaschi, Light FM fused elements of Weezer and the
Rentals for some power pop rock on steroids. Fancy Space People were
literally out of this world with their David Bowie Space Oddity inspired