It’s the last night of an 11 night residency at The Fillmore. In our master ticket plan, we decided to try for the last night, because a) people would try to get tickets for the first few shows, and our chances might be better, and b) good things happen on the last show of a tour. Even though The Smashing Pumpkins are going on to do more shows, this is the last of the small ones.
There was a wickedly long line to get in, with a strict will call where those who tried to pick up their tickets and head out to the street were yelled at. I don’t know how much this system worked, but it seemed pretty strict. Once we walked into the ballroom, we saw the stage that I had been reading about. It was huge, making the Fillmore seem like an outdoor show.
The 88, from LA, was the opening act for this night only. Very polished band, but didn’t seem to be a great match for an opener (they should open for Interpol, and have a suit-off). The singer makes some great facial expressions when he sings.
During the setup for SP, someone came out an informed us that we would be getting two individual sets- one acoustic and one electric. I knew that the other shows had started with acoustic- Billy coming out and playing a few songs- but this one must be different.
Another thing that I was prepared for from reading reviews was an obscure setlist. Still, I had no idea. I had refreshed my pretty avid SP memory by listening to them a lot over the last few days, and it didn’t help. Once the band came out and sat down and Billy and Jeff opened up their music books, I should have known.
Ginger Reyes is a tiny, tiny woman. Basses are big, but she makes it look cartoonish. Plus, she has a Amy Winehouse bouffant.
And Billy’s shaved head has made him look the same over all these years. I forgot how much I liked the white suit, black and white striped shirt thing…it’s a good look. The Voss water….that’s another story.
While the acoustic set sounded nice, most people seemed to be lulled into a stupor. The occasional, “bring us the metal!’ and ‘let’s go’ was yelled out. People yelled for Billy to talk, and he said “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”. Talking to your audience is not the same as taking out one page ads in the Chicago paper.
At one point, Billy flubbed a song as he started to play. He said, “I should stop writing such complicated songs”.
Standouts were ‘1979’ and ‘God and Country’.
There was a 30 minute break between the acoustic and electric sets. At this point, the guy standing next to me told me he had been to all 11 shows. Wow! That’s hardcore.
The band came back out to much fanfare. This is what everyone was waiting for. However, the band could not commit to to rocking out or being mellow. Plus, as my friend said, Billy Corgan’s ‘hippie dancing’ to his music is a bit awkward.
Unfortunately, towards the end, the Hard Rock Chick had a bit of a fainting spell. Even though the security guards were passing out free water to these of us up front, I still got too dehydrated. And it was a mellow mellow mellow crowd, too…I don’t know what the deal was.
So here’s the video to check it out. Enjoy!
Link to another review, with the setlist