In a marathon of music, visuals, and wardrobe changes, the Smashing Pumpkins flew into Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA for a 3+ hour set on their Shiny and Oh So Bright reunion tour.
Billy Corgan led the way, alongside original members Jimmy Chamberlin and James Iha (who recently returned to the band after almost two decades) as well as long time Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bassist Jack Bates and Katie Cole on keyboards and backing vocals. The show itself was a painstakingly manicured display of artistic visuals, which included artwork, childhood photos, new video, past music videos, choreographed dancers, and even some vaudeville flare featuring a heavily made-up Mark McGrath… all displayed on giant panels that rotated and moved around for each of the 30 songs.
Yes, 30 songs. Smashing Pumpkins have been doing night after night of shows lasting over three hours.
The triple-guitar action was perfect for representing the layered guitar sounds of the Pumpkins’ first 5 albums, and included blazing solos by both Corgan and Schroeder. Each album was represented fairly well, and the setlist also included soundtrack-only songs like “Eye” and “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning”. Interestingly, the band decided to use some of its setlist real estate with a handful of cover songs: “Space Oddity” (David Bowie), “Landslide” (Fleetwood Mac), and “Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin). James Iha even made a quip to the audience about his surprise when “Stairway” became part of the set.
A rare appearance of “Porcelina of the Vast Oceans” was an extremely welcome addition, as was the long-time fan favorite “Mayonaise”.
It surely was a show, with the kind of artistic touch that only Smashing Pumpkins can pull off. Below are our photos of the night (taken by Clay Lancaster) .