Smashing Pumpkins, Not a Smash Hit

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Last night was a night I had been looking forward to for some time, the Smashing Pumpkins live in concert.  Lately it seems that all the ’90’s acts I grew up idolizing have been heading out on the road.  Given the fact that I was 10 in 1991 and too young to see this band in concert, according to my parental unit, I missed them in their prime.  If you’re a rock music fan there is at least a handful of songs by them that you have in your collection that in your teenage years you always had handy to jam as you cruised around on a Saturday night hoping to relive the night depicted in the “1979” music video.  This feeling is what I had in mind as I came to the Chaifetz Arena, unfortunately it was crushed fast and harshly.

To my dismay the concert started out with a slew of unrecognizable tunes, only to find out Billy Corgan dictated that the entire first part of the set would be  all of their new release “Oceania”.  I respect the fact that the tour was in support of the new album and he is probably tired of playing the same old tunes but as a musician you should, in my opinion, try to keep in mind the interests of your audience.  After all, our interest in the band is the reason the band’s career has lasted this long.  I did some research and found that since 1990 the Pumpkins have come to St. Louis 7 times, counting last night, and out of the 27 song set that was played only 8 of them were material from their prior releases.  For a fan that has waited 21 years to see this band it was horribly disappointing and it seemed the majority of the crowd that attended were in the same boat.  It was a sea of grown up children of the 90’s looking for a sound from their youth and all they walked away with was unrecognizable noise.  Sorry Mr. Corgan, I respect you immensely and think you have a world of talent but I felt a bit let down as I left the arena.  It was not a total loss though because Smashing Pumpkins was one of my “bucket list bands” to photograph so at least I got to walk away with that.

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