Thinking About: SP
The new lineup of Smashing Pumpkins played the Wonder Ballroom last night to a sellout crowd. I was not there ... a guy with a Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness tour shirt slowly disintegrating, wash after wash. How did this happen? How could a one time superfan let this one go? For what it's worth, here are some thoughts...
1. Much has been written regarding the Smashing Pumpkins moniker, whether this technically qualifies as a legit SP show. James, D'arcy and Jimmy are off living their own lives and making music of their own, not bending to the militant domination of their former band leader. Cheers to you guys, wherever you are. Though musically strong, the multiple revisions of the band haven't held a candle to the power and romance of the original line up.
2. If it was 1994 and they were touring on Siamese Dream, then yeah, I would be kicking myself a little harder. Even though the set list evidently leaned heavily toward new material, sort of disqualifying it as any sort of 'reunion' tour (e.g. Pavement), it still has the feel of one, even amongst my friends. The SP music that matters to us is the 90's SP.In the end, this is really just a cathartic exercise. It could have been worth it just to see Corgan rip a few guitar solos. C'est la vie.
3. On that note, it's a sad reality that the vitality of the 90's records will always cast a shadow over Corgan's later career. The guy has never stopped writing, for better or worse. Moments of sheer brilliance and talent often shine through the thick fog of his artistic output, nurturing his fans and holding his detractors in attention. The relevant moments are fewer and fewer as he ages, songs less compelling. And that's ok. It happens. But the hefty price tag for the show was easier to pass by this time.