If you’re a Bay Area, California person, you’re aware of the crazy wind and rain this week. Many people dubbed it “Stormageddon”. Yes, there was some flooding, and Lake Tahoe had such high winds that giant waves formed and surfers were taking advantage. Let me repeat that: It’s a lake, and there were surfers.
Despite the weather, I still managed to make it to the Smashing Pumpkins show at the Warfield tonight in San Francisco. The most talking Billy Corgan did during their set was to address the weather, noting that in his hometown of Chicago this wouldn’t be considered anything worth talking about. However he did finish by saying basically “thank you for coming, despite it all”.
Half the set was new material, half was older stuff. It was one of the better-sounding shows I’ve seen from the Pumpkins, and the impromptu lineup was awesome: Brad Wilk on drums (Rage Against the Machine & Audioslave), and Mark Stoermer on bass (The Killers).
The highlight of the evening was the long jam on a rendition of “Silverfuck” from 1993’s Siamese Dream, as well as the entire heavy improv that led up to the encore. It made me wish that such energy and aggression was included on their new album Monuments to an Elegy.
As low-key as Corgan was, however, he did launch into his blood-curdling screams a few times throughout the night, even on their cover of David Bowie’s “Fame”.
Photos by Clay Lancaster (www.claylancaster.com)