TVD Live Shots: Smashing Pumpkins at the Warfield, 12/11

Let’s stop with the silly comments such as, “It’s not really Smashing Pumpkins with only one original member.” Yes it is, because Billy Corgan IS Smashing Pumpkins. And while were on the subject—were his remarks regarding the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam really off that much?

I mean I love the Foo Fighters, but Corgan’s right in the fact that they really haven’t “evolved” as a band. And that’s OK because they have perfected their formula for kick ass rock ‘n’ roll. As for Pearl Jam, again, I’m a fan, but can their new songs hold up to anything from their first three epic masterpieces? It’s certainly up for debate, and Mr. Corgan has made two very valid points that the media have spun out of control into an attack on his rock ‘n’ roll peers.

With that being said, this is a show review so let me get to it. I was able to score a last-minute ticket to see one of a series of intimate shows that have been taking place in London, New York, and Paris that all sold out instantly. The band is touring to promote their new album Monuments to an Elegy, which was released on December 9. When the band added San Francisco to the short tour, I was ecstatic.

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-3

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-2

There is a really interesting line up backing Corgan on this tour. Of course there was longtime Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder (who replaced original guitarist James Iha in 2007), but the surprise was that he was joined by Mark Stoermer of The Killers on bass and Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine on drums.

While this may sound like a strange rhythm section for the Pumpkins, let me tell you that you Wilk’s drumming on the Pumpkins’ classics such as “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and “Silverfuck” is tremendous. It was some of the most thunderous, solid drumming I have ever heard in my life and you could definitely feel the Rage style of drumming this guy has perfected very clearly.

When they played “Silverfuck,” it was so amazing that I took out my earplugs and then looked around at the capacity crowd to make sure everyone was enjoying this as much as I was. It was fucking incredible and the perfect way to wrap up one of the best shows I have seen all year.

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-4

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-5

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-6

Highlights from the 90 minute plus set included several songs from Monuments along with some Pumpkins classics and a surprisingly great version of the David Bowie classic, “Fame.” The encore was a song called “Burnt Orange Black” which I believe is a new one, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Either way it was an incredible night of music and a reminder of how great The Smashing Pumpkins are live.

Kudos Mr. Corgan, as you are a true alt-rock American treasure. Your comments might be constantly taken out of context, but your music makes up for it every single time. I would also recommend the new record as a short and to the point (clocking in at around 32 minutes) of pure Pumpkins brilliance. Oh, and Tommy Lee plays on it, which is pretty amazing in itself.

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-7

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-9

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-11

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-12

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-13

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-14

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-16

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-17

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-18

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-19

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-20

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-21

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-22

Smashing Pumpkins Photographed by Jason Miller-23

Smashing Pumpkins Shot by Jason Miller

Smashing Pumpkins Shot by Jason Miller-2

Smashing Pumpkins Shot by Jason Miller-3

Smashing Pumpkins Shot by Jason Miller-4

Smashing Pumpkins Shot by Jason Miller-5

Smashing Pumpkins Shot by Jason Miller-6

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  • curt

    Billy Corgan used to matter. He clearly hasn’t listened to the later pearl jam discs. THe megalomaniac trip that Billy is one is one that I got away from when Mellon collie and the infinitely bad double disc was released. Let’s face it he is a bitter has been. That got on some trip that everything he writes is gold. Sorry billy birth he last great disc you ever made was the first one you put out

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