Last Night: Smashing Pumpkins at The Palladium Ballroom

Smashing Pumpkins
Palladium Ballroom
September 22, 2010

(A Little) Better Than:
Staying home and listening to the first four Smashing Pumpkins' albums.

Billy Corgan.jpg
The last of the Smashing Pumpkins.
This show at the Palladium last night, featuring Bill Corgan and a whole new cast of Smashing Pumpkins behind him, was said to be a sell out. It was also supposed to be in the Palladium Showroom originally. But, at some point yesterday, it got switched to the bigger Ballroom.

As such, there was plenty of room to roam inside the venue. And the beer lines were surprisingly short as well.

Perhaps "sell out" has varying definitions?

Corgan and crew hit the stage at around 9:30 and delivered a solid two hours of alternative rock that veered uneasily into progressive rock territory. And the new band proved solid--especially bassist Nicole Fiorentino--who not only looked hot but played that way as well.

Opening with "My Love is Winter," a new track associated with the massive Internet-only release Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, Corgan and his youthful ensemble acquitted themselves well. On tracks both old and new, the sound was clear and the dynamics of the songs was not lost in the cavernous regions of the Palladium.

The show's only true low point was the bizarre medley/jam that came after a killer version of "Bullet With Butterfly Wings." Beginning with "The Star Spangled Banner" (which I assume was done in recognition of the anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's death), the jam went nowhere.

And then there was the god-awful drum solo.

I thought the entire spirit of punk and alt-rock was a rejection of such self-serving rubbish?
 
Thankfully, The Smashing Pumpkins righted the ship by then concentrating on giving the audience what they wanted to hear, the classic material from the '90s. "Tonight, Tonight," "Rhinoceros," and "Cherub Rock" all sounded great and each got an enthusiastic reception.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I've never been the biggest fan of the Smashing Pumpkins, but last night's show kind of made me reexamine my earlier opinion. Also: Corgan is a funny dude. Before the encore, he went on an extended rant concerning Texas, Dallas, and Tony Romo. "How are the Cowboys doing?" Corgan asked the crowd. "They were better when Romo was banging Simpson." The crowd roared with laughter. The remark was especially funny considering Corgan has been romantically linked with Jessica Simpson since she split with Romo.

By The Way: Originally, Chicago's Bad City was listed as the opening act, but somehow it was L.A.'s Cherri Bomb that ended up in that slot. I guess the fact that all four of the girls who make up Cherri Bomb are only 13 years old should be enough reason for me to give the band some slack--but the hell with that idea. Julia Pierce and her three glam-infused bandmates were just awful. They were so awful, in fact, that they had to keep cajoling the audience to applaud. By the time Cherri Bomb resorted to covering the Foo Fighters, the writing was on the wall. Snooze. We do not need another Runaways. We didn't even need the damn movie about the Runaways.

Random Note: Last night's crowd was an odd mix of folks in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Although they were energetic and some points, there was a definite lethargy to the mostly male throng. Perhaps they were thinking about how early they had to get up and go to work.

Set List
My Love is Winter
A Song for a Son
Astral Planes
Today
Ava Adore
Drown
As Rome Burns
Freak
Eye
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Medley: Star Spangled Banner, Moby Dick
33
Spangled
Tom Tom
Stand Inside Your Love
Tarantula
Tonight, Tonight
Encore
Rhinoceros
Cherub Rock
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