So, I was fortunate enough to see the Smashing Pumpkins on their reunion tour as they hit Dallas November 18 on their way around the world. For those that don’t know, they have re-emerged for the first tour since 2000, when the band broke up in what had always been a powder keg of conflict.

So they’re back to say hello. And support their new album…

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This is more than a band to me. It’s more like a musical journey. Full of ups and downs and life and (near) death and crazy characters and egos and yada yada yada. And most importantly, great music. They had me captivated from day 1. Still do. Ever since I heard Cherub Rock on the radio in high school (day after Homecoming in October 1993, senior year – took a while for it to find me), I was hooked. Instantly. I went into the closest Best Buy and immediately purchased it. The rest is history. Billy Corgan and company influenced me more in regards to musical interest than any other band. I know that sounds a little generic to pick one of the most popular bands of the 90’s and say that, but I didn’t pick the band. It picked me. The range of music, the uniqueness of Billy’s voice, the mysteries buried in the lyrics, the band’s daily drama, the polarizing personalities… better than any supernovela ever could hope to be.

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This reunion was hosted by Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie (between Dallas and Ft. Worth) with its great seats and great acoustics for taking in every last squeal and riff. My friends in pumpkinhood: David (bro) and Todd (friend). David and Jennifer treated me to this as a b-day present – thanks! Todd and I have the distinction of enjoying one of the last Pumpkins shows to include James Iha at the Mellon Collie tour which hit Reunion Arena in 1995 – so we had a reunion of our own.

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But we’re talking about Sunday here. Gotta love the YouTube generation – here’s a great summary of the Dallas concert in 2 minutes:

Now I’m not much of a music critic – you should check out my friend Howard and his masterpieces for that. But, I’ll be honest, I was a little apprehensive about what to expect from this show. The new album Zeitgeist is pretty good and all, but I didn’t know if I was walking in to a hollow “let’s make $” reunion tour like other bands are sporting… Will they play songs from the whole library, or is it going to be 90% Zeitgeist? Will we be like the oldest or youngest people there?

All my questions were answered. Positively. They played songs from the whole library in what was an intense arsenal of sound. Billy’s voice was great, and Jimmy was kickin’ it on the drums. They were here to play.

Like this existential (partial) version of “Drown”

Some personal favorites from the show included the show opener United States, Soma, Bullet with Butterfly Wings and this 1979 acoustic:

He also through in a couple covers: Iron Man and I Love Rock n’ Roll, as seen here. Check out the sweet stage set-up with those triangular light posts.

The crowd was mixed bag, as you might expect from a band this old. We were right in the middle. Some goth teens and greek college students. Sprinkle in some more mature fans too. Maybe that’s what inspired Corgan to sarcastically remind everyone that the band did release some albums after 1995’s Mellon Collie in this humorous moment from the show:

What didn’t make the YouTube highlight reel yet? A sarastic, and somewhat defeated, statement from Corgan about how the band understands no one buys or will buy music albums anymore. And his request to have people in the pit stop throwing packets of mayo at him in a stupid attempt to request the song Mayonnaise.

All in all, a fantatsic concert. Smashing Pumpkins, you can come back to Texas anytime. And you’re welcome.

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