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Posted November 1, 2012 by Always Acoustic in Concert Reviews

The Smashing Pumpkins Allstate Arena Review

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© 2012 Always Acoustic

A perfect sandwich contains two slices of bread layered with your favorite fixings and topped with your favorite dressing. In this case, how about some “Mayonaise?”

However, the moment that you start building your perfect sandwich and the bread tears slightly what you’re left with is an imperfect sandwich.

The Smashing Pumpkins nearly achieved perfection, but their performance tore slightly due to the fact that the instrument levels super-ceded and diminished Billy Corgan’s vocals.

The perfect sandwich that The Smashing Pumpkins attempted to create started with the entire Oceania layer. The layering began with “Quasar” to one of their most popular hits in “Violet Rays” and the layer ended with “Wildflower.”

The tear started from the on-set with “Quasar” and tore slightly further on “Violet Rays,” “My Love is Winter,” “Pinwheels” and “The Chimera.” It’s a shame that perfection wasn’t achieved, because it was there for the taking. “Mayonaise” was even affected by Corgan’s diminished vocals.

Those disarmed smiles turned into songbirds

The evening wasn’t all gloom and doom and Corgan’s vocals improved tremendously during “Disarm,” “Tonight Reprise,” “Tonight,” “Bullet with Butterfly Wings,” “A Song for A Son,” “Zero,” “Cherub Rock” and “Ava Adore.” Was it a conspiracy to make sure that Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness were adjusted to reflect their popularity? They were re-issued this year, but you can put the conspiracy theory to rest because there isn’t one.

Throughout the evening at the Allstate Arena on October 19th, The Smashing Pumpkins featured an array of multi-colored lights and/or strobes. Blue, red, white, orange, green, pink and purple were represented like your mile long strand of lights on your holiday tree in December.

The Smashing Pumpkins also entertained their set with a large sphere that would project various imageries that would add to the stories of their music.

At one point there was a giant sphere that reminded you of the Death Star from Star Wars: The New Hope. Just waiting to see imagery of Luke Skywalker and his X-Wing fighter on their final approach to releasing their laser guided rays into the Death Star and then it blows up.

What actually occurred were a couple kissing in the sphere on “The Celestials,” a man with white eyes who gradually breaks into pieces on “My Love is Winter,” a kaleidoscope near the conclusion of “Oceania” and finally a heart beating on “The Chimera.” These imagery examples are only a fraction of what was displayed during The Smashing Pumpkins’ performance.

The kaleidoscope imagery should have been reserved for later in The Smashing Pumpkins’ performance when they performed “A Song for A Son.” It would have been an awesome fit because the album is entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor.

During “Oceania,” Corgan toyed with and teased the Chicago audience when he remarked, “As some of you know, we are opening with Oceania. If I’m feeling that special love … then we’ll play some classics at the end, if we feel like it.”


© 2012 Always Acoustic

As the song neared its conclusion, the audience raised their beer cups and toasted the evening to the majestic performance of The Smashing Pumpkins.

The Smashing Pumpkins commenced their classics with “X.Y.U.” Then they performed one of their most popular opening guitar riffs that give a person the chills in “Disarm.”

The moment Billy Corgan sang, “Disarm you with a smile, and cut you like you want me to,” those disarmed smiles turned into songbirds as the audience sang with Corgan on “Disarm.”

Billy Corgan even thanked the audience as the song concluded. Corgan remarked, “Thank you! We love you so much.”

The truth is that Chicago fans have always believed and adored The Smashing Pumpkins.

That belief led The Smashing Pumpkins to perform “Tonight Reprise” and “Tonight.” Corgan pointed to the audience as he sang the chorus, “I believe in you. Like you believe in me.”

After “Bullet for Butterfly Wings” concluded, Corgan went into a eight minute tangent from “thanking new [The Smashing Pumpkins’] fans” to “I got kicked-off Facebook for not being me to finally “F@*k” the [White] Sox man!”

When the tangent ended, The Smashing Pumpkins then performed one of their best newer songs in “A Song for a Son.”

During “Mayonaise,” the instruments drowned out Corgan’s vocals. As the song concluded, the band left the stage and Billy Corgan remained. Several minutes later, the show ended.

The Smashing Pumpkins performed one of their best shows in Chicago in a while. If only Corgan’s vocals weren’t drowned out at times, The Smashing Pumpkins would have performed a perfect show. Maybe The Smashing Pumpkins can achieve perfection next time.