The Smashing Pumpkins made a stop in western NY on Saturday August 10 at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on their current North American summer tour bringing with them Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and AFI! Billy Corgan along with band mates James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlain, and Jeff Schroeder did not waste any time getting the crowd fired up. The band immediately launching into the Siamese Dream era mega hit “Today,” followed quickly by the hard hitting and moving “Zero.” An incredible and intense performance, James Iha’s guitar skills work hand in hand with Jimmy Chamberlain’s rapid fire drum hits!
In addition to the original Smashing Pumpkins members, joining them on stage for this tour is Jack Bates, the son of the legendary bassist Peter Hook who was best known for his band Joy Division/New Order. A very strong and solid choice to fill in for original bassist D’arcy Wretzky who did not take part in the summer tour.
Billy Corgan and band played a very eclectic and diverse set from their over 30-year career including such songs as, “Solara,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “Disarm” and a very different take on the James Taylor classic, “Fire and Rain.” The band took a brief intermission before coming back to finish their sonically incredible set with “Tonight, Tonight,” “Blue Skies Bring Tears,” “Cherub Rock” and ending with “The Areoplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right).” Overall a very moving and incredible performance by the Smashing Pumpkins!
Earlier in the evening, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds took the stage to get the fans warmed up with some moving hard rock tunes. Most recognize front man and guitarist Noel Gallagher from his more notable band Oasis. Only playing a couple of Oasis tracks, Noel Gallagher and bandmates kept focused on the High Flying Birds music and performed notable tracks “Fort Knox,” “Keep On Reaching” and “This is The Place,” the title track of their upcoming new EP This IS the Place, scheduled to be released September 27. They are definitely worth seeing live if you get the opportunity.
Kicking off the evening prior to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds was the incredible and intense emo punk band AFI (A Fire Inside). The California based band took the stage and delivered a very high-energy set that included “Miss Murder,” “Beautiful Thieves,” along with some new tracks off their current release Missing Man like “Get Dark,” and the very hard-hitting “Trash Bat.” Those who know me, know I am a huge supporter of AFI even though I would have liked to have seen a longer set by, Davey Havok, Jade Puget, Adam Carson, and Hunter Burgan, I was impressed with their ferocity and enjoyed their set. I look forward to catching them later this year on their own headlining tour! AFI ended their set with “Girl’s Not Grey” leaving the audience on their feet and wanting more.
Smashing Pumpkins and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (with guest AFI) will continue their summer tour of the U.S. through the remainder of August. Thank you and please enjoy my photo highlights from the Darien Lake Show.