Jul 192007

The Smashing Pumpkin residency in Asheville, North Carolina at the Orange Peel was one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life. For a $20 ticket – if you could get one – fans were allowed in to watch soundchecks and hang out with (annoy) the band. Then 9 sold out shows spread out over the first 11 days of July were monster face-melters. 3 1/2 hour plus concerts jam-packed with all kinds of songs. These residencies were meant to break-in the new band – Jeff Schroeder, Ginger Reyes, and Lisa Harrington – and build the pool of songs they could pull from to over a 100. They fine-tuned newer songs, rearranged old songs, and wrote / played songs written during their stay. The band mingled freely with Ashevillians and fans throughout their stay, making themselves available. Local newspapers covered every aspect of the stay, stores offered “Pumpkin Specials,” while other stores were exclusive vendors of custom-collectable merchandise. Just about every person you saw had a “Pumpkin sighting” or story about a casual run-in with various members. The Pumpkins had a different local artist open the show each evening and followed with wildly varied set-lists of their own. Asheville, long known as a psychic center, became the center of the Pumpkin universe and created an energy that the band and the fans shared. This unique perspective is covered in their DVD documentary If All Goes Wrong as well as the sharp contrast to the subsequent residency experience in San Francisco.

“Rotten Apples” at The Orange Peel 7.3.2007

“Starla” at The Orange Peel 7.2.2007

Vicious version of “Silverfuck” at The Orange Peel 7.2.2007

“The Aeroplane Flies High” at The Orange Peel 7.2.2007

A 36 minute “Gossamer” from 7.3.2007

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