Moda Center North
Sat Aug 25, 2018, 7 pm All Ages
Recommended by Erik Henriksen
In 1993 and 1995, the Smashing Pumpkins unleashed two of the best albums of that decade: Dreamy and cruel, Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness found Billy Corgan's lilting vocals drifting over James Iha's lush guitars, D'arcy Wretzky's moody bass, and Jimmy Chamberlin's cranky drums. Even at the Pumpkins' peak, when they headlined Homerpalooza on The Simpsons, Corgan was ridiculous (glowering and capricious, he vowed Mellon Collie would be “The Wall for Generation X”), but one couldn't argue with their arena shows or B-sides. As flannel faded, they broke up and reunited ad infinitum, with Iha, Chamberlin, and more—though never Wretzky—orbiting Corgan's gleaming moon of a head. So much of this stuff still works (“Cherub Rock,” “Geek U.S.A.,” “Disarm,” “Tonight, Tonight,” “1979,” “Thirty-Three,” the patently preposterous, patently awesome “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”), but the Pumpkins' most lasting impact might be their influence on those who followed. (Years later, their rock-opera baroqueness and emo-kid lyrics would be sharpened and polished by My Chemical Romance.) For the “Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour" (heavy sigh), Corgan, Iha, and Chamberlin vow their setlist will pull from their first five albums; it might as well be called the “Give the Gen Xers What They Want Tour,” and I have zero complaints.