Monday night at the historic Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda, NY a SOLD OUT crowd was poised for Chicago-based Alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins to take the stage for what was sure to be a memorable evening of music. The show was billed as The Smashing Pumpkins: In Plainsong – An Acoustic-Electro Evening. The show kicked off the first leg of their tour, but more importantly it was the debut of newest members Katie Cole on Bass and Robin Diaz on drums.
The lights flash, signaling the concert goers to take their seats, the show is about to begin. Front man William Corgan sets up behind a piano and launches into a very beautiful version of “Tonight, Tonight.” It was not long before Corgan was treating the fans to “Freedom Ain’t What It Used To Be” and “For Your Love” songs from his band Zwan. As the troubadour played on, he unearthed and treated the fans to some really rare tracks including two songs he played live for the first time off of the Adore album “Jersey Shore” and “Sparrow”. Corgan continued to delight fans with a mix of songs from his solo work and Smashing Pumpkins tunes including a very nice ukulele version of the “Blessed and Gone” from the album Adore which if my memory is correct has not been played live since 2000!
At times Corgan had to address very disruptive audience members. I must say he had handled the rudeness of some very well, and at one point said “Those of you talking raise your hand.” Before launching into a mini set of songs off of the band’s “Adore” album he had stated “Those of you talking, you might want to leave for the next songs, because they require listening”. The crowd showed their approval with uproarious applause. But my favorite interruption takes those selfie taking numbskulls to new lows. At one point in the show a pair of rather heavily intoxicated individuals stumbled all the way up to front of the stage to take a selfie which prompted the band to stop the song they were playing and give them the one finger salute and looks of disgust. The couple was completely oblivious to this. Patrons started yelling at them and finally security had to escort them away. To the rest of the audiences delight, the band continues playing and the show went on without any more major interruptions.
Despite some minor annoyances Corgan and company played a monstrous 26 song set! Ending the main set with a cover of Fleetwood Macs “Landslide” and a three song encore which included “Spaceboy” which has not been played since 1994 and the debut of a new song “Cardinal Rule” to end the 2.5 hour set! The show was loaded with awesome rarities and unique performances for the bona fide Smashing Pumpkin fans.
Enjoy some of footage I shot of Corgan performing their classic off of Siamese Dream “Today”.
Photos provided by Camille Tisdell