Smashing Pumpkins Live In Vancouver – Sept. 24, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins
Monday, September 24, 2007
PNE Forum
Vancouver, BC  Canada


***Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland

It was Smashing Pumpkins’ first visit to Vancouver in over seven years but for Kenny Leung, seven was a number most unlucky.  During the first few minutes of the band’s set, Leung was carried out of the surging crowd and never regained consciousness.  Unbeknownst to many until news reports leaked the following day, this tragedy will forever be linked to this particular show and will certainly be rooted deep in the psyche of those of us in attendance even more so.

In 2005, Billy Corgan took out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune declaring, “For a year now, I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep.  But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins.  I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams.”  Smashing Pumpkins circa 2007 is back but only Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain remain from the “classic” lineup with Jeff Schroeder and Ginger Reyes replacing James Iha and D’Arcy Wretzky on guitar and bass, respectively (Lisa Harriton is also the touring keyboardist).  The band was dressed identically in white with Corgan sporting what can best be described as white clown shoes and zebra-print stockings.  Their mammoth two-and-a-half hour set was hardly a collection of “hits,” either.  The tepid reception towards ZEITGEIST, the first new Pumpkins album since 2000’s MACHINA, didn’t stop six tracks from seeping into the twenty song setlist.  One new song—“Superchrist”—as well as “Drown” from the movie SINGLES were surprising additions while “Cherub Rock,” “Mayonaise” and “Disarm” were notably absent as well as a total snub of any material from 1991’s GISH.  A tender version of “To Sheila” was trumped only by Corgan performing “1979” with only his voice and an acoustic guitar, while the feedback-drenched “Heavy Metal Machine” and blistering “Zero” hearken back to a time when the Pumpkins were one of the most dominating acts in rock and roll.  “Ava Adore” was nearly unrecognizable but the opening line of “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” sent the crowd into a frenzy with Reyes and Chamberlain locking into a criminally-tight crushing rhythm.   

Doomsday Clock
Bring The Light
Tonight, Tonight
Glass and The Ghost Children
To Sheila
United States
That’s The Way (My Love Is)
Ava Adore
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Heavy Metal Machine
~ ENCORE #1~

The neon triangles behind the band members were in sharp contrast to the stark minimalism of the head-to-toe white outfits but Smashing Pumpkins can definitely still put on a blazing show.   For nearly two hours, the band played continuously with little stage banter from Billy Corgan.  The singer, his nasally whine and trademark hunched posture still intact, may not be at the apex of his band’s popularity anymore but over five thousand people still jammed the PNE Forum for the long-awaited return of Smashing Pumpkins.  Regrettably, the fate of Kenny Leung, undoubtedly out for a good time with one of his favourite bands, has cast a pall over the show.  One can only take solace in hoping that Leung died with his favourite music being his final respite.  Our sincere condolences go out to this young man’s family in the wake of this senseless and horrific tragedy…





***Thanks to Jenny at Live Nation for the press pass.

Smashing Pumpkins—Official Site




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