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The Smashing Pumpkins in Java Rockin’ Land

All right, all right, I’m pretty sure those who shared the mushy grounds below that fancy stage last night with me has plenty to bitch about. There was near-to-zero interactivity between the band and the audience, Corgan didn’t even bother saying hello or introducing the new Pumpkins, they only played nine songs, and our “we want more” revealed that despite all our rage we were left with an empty stage. Hey, I had my share of complaints from my friends during the (very long-we picked the wrong place to park) walk back to the car and the drive home.

But despite all that, it was a tight set. The sound system was not bad, the guitar improvisations were brilliant and the songs, I dare say, were almost flawless. They played a few of my favorites, and although “Song for a Son” wasn’t one of them before, the way he sang it last night was amazing. I would even go as far to say that I like them more than before now.


Just like having to choose between keeping my glasses on, and having the risk of them falling off like that poor guy with his iPhone last night, and taking them off, depriving me of seeing the band properly, I was also torn apart between being closer to the stage, which means more dancing, and stepping behind to truly enjoy the performance without the cigarette smoke and suffocation. I choose the former, as my broken glasses (I took em off but they got squeezed inside my bag) have shown.

So they opened up with “Today”, and if Mr Corgan is really pissed so as to go off stage early because there wasn’t much reaction from the audience before the band succumbed to “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” as the rumors went, I’d suggest him go to my optician. There was enough action going on from the start, take it from someone who’s actually in the crowd. Besides, isn’t it always that way with shows? the audience was just adjusting to the fact that this band is actually in front of them. Especially those like me, who haven’t warm themselves up with opening acts. Could it be, sir, that they were just awed by you?

I think it takes really good calculating to determine which song goes first. One of the best picks I ever saw was by NOFX when I saw them a few years ago. They played “linoleum” and although it wasn’t a massive mosh number like “The Brews” or “Kill all the white men”, it was a great showstarting song, which got me pushed like a dozen meters away behind by the crazy crowd.

So, pumpkins? I liked it, but indeed it left me aching for more and cursing why I didn’t line up in front of the stage earlier.


About thoughtsthatdance

I am not much of a dancer. I take wrong steps every now and then, but the mistakes can lead to laughter or lessons.

2 responses »

  1. Carlos Alexandre Diniz

    I’ve been to two other SP gigs before (Sao Paulo, Brasil in ’96 and London, UK in ’07) and can affirm that this one was weird. No interaction with the audience, no encore, no jokes, no surprises. But Billy wasn’t pissed off at all. He was laughing all the time, specially when Mike “destroyed” the drums.

    I agree with almost everything you said but the “enough action going on” bit. I was a couple of steps from the front of the stage I there was only a handful of guys singing every single song with me. All the rest was struggling to shoot movies or to light a cigarette. :p

    Starting the gig with Today was quite surprising. Billy usually saves old songs like this one for the end or the encore. BWBW and Ava Adore were awesome. Maybe, the best Ava Adore version I saw live yet.

    I like the new phase and love all Teargarden songs, so I might not be the best person to add any comments to that. 🙂

    I am uploading some HD on YouTube. You will find Song for a Son there. 😉 Look for my user: alexandrefdiniz.


    • yeah, the “light cigarette-tape the scene” seems a lot familiar to me. Oh, the difficulty of simply enjoying the show!
      Then again, it could be that people are just too overwhelmed by reality that they try to capture it every single time.
      I wasn’t right at the front (I wish!) but a few meters away from it, and I considered it to be pretty lively.


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