Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins

Hard Rock Live, Orlando, FL • May 8, 2000

The rumors are unfortunately true! The Smashing Pumpkins are calling it quits after their world tour. So I guess I’m pretty happy knowing that I attended their recent show at Hard Rock Live. In all the chances I’ve had to see the Pumpkins play, I had never gone. Finally, I decided that they are one of the most talented bands and I had to see it live. My seat was all the way up on the balcony, so it didn’t really feel as though I was at a show, but as soon as the lights went off, the energy in the room made me realize what I was about to experience. There was no opening band – it was just pure Smashing Pumpkins.

On stage, singer, Billy Corgan and crew were joined by former Hole bassist Melissa auf der Maur, who had taken the place of D’Arcy Wretzky after she exited the band. They opened the show with hypnotizing lights and deep, dark songs from their most recent album, MACHINA/The Machines of God. I had never seen a crowd so calm at a concert, as we all just sat and watched in amazement.

As the set went on, the Pumpkins covered just about every popular hit from all the older albums. From the multimillion selling album Siamese Dream, songs such as “Today” and “Disarm” were performed. The packed venue was also pleased to hear “Tonight, Tonight” and “Zero” from the double CD Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which was a commercial success. These songs created a sort of depressed atmosphere, but that all changed as Corgan began to talk and interact with the crowd. People started to move as they were excited to hear some of their favorite older Pumpkins material. I was surprised to hear them play so many great songs, especially James Iha’s solo song, which I’m presuming can be found on his solo album. Corgan went on to say that they were going to be appearing on VH1’s Storytellers show, and began to explain a song about one of his previous roommates he had known.

After they played for at least two hours, I stopped checking the time – time no longer mattered. I was taken in by the music and the great show that I was witnessing, hoping it would never end. The Pumpkins kept appearing back onstage even after I was convinced it had to be over. Finally, though, it had to end. It seemed as though people were giving Corgan presents as he was walking off stage, but I cannot be so sure since I was so far away. He even went on to greet a lucky fan that was lifted on stage. I must say that it was pretty cute when the young fan immediately hugged on to Corgan.

The show was absolutely amazing. I have to kick myself for never going to a Smashing Pumpkins show before, but I am glad to have seen it before they decided to split. If you missed it, I bet you probably beat yourself up about it. If you are a hardcore Pumpkins fan, though, don’t worry – recent reports have said that they will be putting together unfinished songs to release before it all comes to the final end.

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