October 11th, 2011
The Other Side of the Kaleidyscope Tour
Omaha’s newest “it” venue, Slowdown, is not the venue you’d expect to see a band such as The Smashing Pumpkins. Even though the band is at the dusk of the height of their popularity, the 500 capacity venue was packed to the rafters with diehard Pumpkins fans who could afford the $50 for tonight’s show. At least, those lucky enough to get a ticket. Slowdown confirmed the show sold out in less than a minute after sales started, the fasted (and most expensive) show in the venue’s history. But was it worth the price?
For the serious fans? Yes. Maybe not so much for the casual listener. For those expecting to hear the band’s radio hits, they weren’t all played. In fact, only Cherub Rock and Bullet With Butterfly Wings was played. The band played for nearly two hours, with the majority of the 20 song set comprised of new tracks and those rarely played live.
Songs like Quasar and Panopticon bled seamlessly into each other. On the other side, Starla, Thru The Eyes Of Ruby and Silverfuck seemed to have no end. Each was extended to over ten minutes in length, partially because Corgan and current guitarist Jeff Schroeder spent time fiddling around on their instruments and played solo after solo. The Omaha show was only announced about a week before the actual show date, and being only the 5th show of this tour, the crowd showed their excitement to hear half a dozen new tracks from Corgan’s upcoming 2012 release, Oceania.
Frontman and founder Billy Corgan deserves applauds and respect though. The hardcore fans, most in their 30s and 40s, were muttering between songs that playing so much new material was not what they paid to hear. No Zero. No Adore. No Doomsday Clock. Corgan admitted to a small group of us after the show that “this is the new Smashing Pumpkins. We could get up on stage and play what everyone expects us to play but we’re not about that anymore. That’s not the point. If that was the point, then we’d play Zero and Tonight, Tonight and Today and everybody’d be like ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’. It’s not about that right now.”
This new incarnation of the band who helped create the soundtrack for my generation sounds spot on though. Corgan’s vocal prowess is still there and the band knows how to catch and maintain the crowd’s attention, especially for that length of time.
Corgan’s interaction with the crowd was kept to a minimum until nearly the end of the show. “Thank you. Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you,” he profusely said the audience.. “Thank you for staying. Thank you for listening. Thank you. Thank you for being a great audience.”
Frail and Bedazzled
Thru the Eyes of Ruby
Bullet With Butterfly Wings