Jul 232010

Oh, I'm sorry. Did I shred your face?

People always ask me why I like the Smashing Pumpkins. It’s not a 90′s alt rock nostalgia thing at all. They (Billy Corgan) embrace everything I ever loved about music: anger, sadness, love, and volume. Corgan assimilates everything from Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath to Blondie, My Bloody Valentine, and The Cure. I hear things from The Beatles and Bowie to Boston, Joy Division and Slayer or even Steve Miller and Fleetwood Mac in SP’s music. It’s metal, goth, glam, alternative, indie, pop, it’s grandiose, and it’s simultaneously self-indulgent and self-deprecating. The Pumpkins are heavily psychedelic and progressive with touches of Yes and Rush mixed in and wild Morrison-esque rants and poetry sprinkled throughout the chaos. All of this varied influence comes through in some of the most innovative and voluminously prolific rock ever recorded and performed.

Billy is a true artist and songwriter, but he is also a true axe-man. SP shows are dominated by his ferociously loud, howling mad guitar (unbelievable drumming is part of it too). People get caught up in “1979″ and “Disarm,” but forget the real guitar god stuff. He embraces a bygone era by channeling the flamboyance and passion of the old school like Hendrix, Townsend, and Page. You think of him as this awkward, pear-shaped misanthrope with a nasal-y voice, but don’t overlook the commanding showman and fierce guitar player he is.

Case in point:

The mighty SP tore through their set for a sold out crowd at The Ritz in Ybor on Wednesday. The venue was beyond capacity and it’s constant temperature hung around or near the same as the 4th circle of hell. Billy was rocking so hard that he actually blacked-out and hit the deck momentarily during “Bullet with Butterfly Wings.” The crowd, although drenched in sweat (some in vomit), stayed with the band until the last crunching, screeching guitar note bellowed from sound system.

“Ava Adore” You know it’s going to be a crazy night when the second song goes like this.

“Bullet with Butterfly Wings” Billy actually howls so hard after the crowd sing-a-long he blacks out, hits the ground, then stands up in a millisecond of confusion, gets his head straight, and jumps right back in. Rock ‘n Fucking Roll! I thought it was stage antics until a later Tweet by Billy said, “I blacked out and wiped out.”

“Owata” a yet to be released song

1. Astral Planes
2. Ava Adore
3. Today
4. Hummer
5. As Rome Burns
6. A Song for a Son
7. Eye
8. Bullet With Butterfly Wings
9. United States
10. Bleeding the Orchid
11. Perfect
12. Cherub Rock
13. That’s the Way (My Love Is)
14. Owata
15. Stand Inside Your Love
16. Tarantula
17. Tonight, Tonight

18. Freak
19. Gossamer

Written for REAX Online, 7.22.2010

  3 Responses to “The Smashing Pumpkins at The Ritz in Ybor City – 7.21.2010”

  1. Man, I’ve always wanted to jot down the words a to why I love my favorite band and this post it a true example on how it’s done. The convection in your reasoning cannot be questioned.

    I think the the SP coming to town is the start of series of shows that are overdue in Central Florida. Have you seen the month of October? I don’t think I’ll be saving any sorts of money.

  2. Aww thanks Franky! Yeah, I’m a big nerd. October looks ridiculous. This is what I have so far for October and a couple of these may be double booked: The National with Owen Palett, Yeasayer, Flaming Lips, Built to Spill, Anthrax-Slayer-Megadeth, Daniel Tosh, and Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

  3. [...] there came that wondrous thundering lilt that I missed so much one of the last times I was at The Ritz for the Pumpkins club tour. Mike Byrne is fantastic, but I just have an affinity for Chamberlin’s style; a style that I [...]

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