SMASHING PUMPKINS and their international Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour, made their fifth stop in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday July 18. The rigorous schedule runs through October, and includes engagements at several arenas in Canada, the UK, and Italy. With nine albums to their credit since their debut Gish in 1991, the band is not supporting a new effort. The last album Monuments to an Elegy was released in 2014, and since then they have only created one single “Solara”, released in 2018. That actually brought three of the original members back together.
The summer had reached its peak high temperatures in the metroplex, and been maintaining triple digits, making the indoor venue at American Airlines Center a very comfortable and welcome setting for the show. The arena was sparsely attended for the opening act METRIC. Fronted by elegantly blessed vocalist Emily Haines, the Toronto-based act fired up the night. With a sound reminiscent of 80’s electronica, the BLONDIE influence was apparent.
SMASHING PUMPKINS took the stage to the warm welcome of a full house. Opening with one of their more popular songs “Disarm”, they would follow the next hour with mostly lesser known material from their vast history. The enormous video screens displaying bizarre dreamlike scenes seemed to create a trancelike atmosphere, like being immersed inside a music video. Elaborate and powerful lighting sequences highlighted the show brilliantly. A simple stage set up with only a drum riser was all that was necessary with such an amazing backdrop. The shaved headed Billy Corgan doesn’t appear to have aged a day.
The nearly three hour set definitely gave the fans their money’s worth. The first of four cover songs was David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, a perfect fit for Corgan’s unique vocal style. A surprise cover of LED ZEPPELIN’S “Stairway to Heaven” showcased Billy’s skills on the piano. His voice on FLEETWOOD MAC’S “Landslide”, has been ingrained in a generations ears as it had its fair share of radio play back in the day. The second half of the night seemed to have more of the popular hits the band is best known for including “1979”, “Tonight, Tonight”, “Today”, “Cherub Rock”, and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.”
The 31-song performance ended with “Solara”, blended with the song “Baby Mine” from the movie Dumbo. It seemed they hadn’t missed any of their more popular songs. With nearly 30 years of making music together, it is amazing to see guitarist James Iha, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, and Billy Corgan reunited and once again sharing their beautiful music with the world.
LIVE IMAGES: JOE GUZMAN – GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: JET TESSMANN