Smashing Pumpkins 18 Years Later

I've been a Smashing Pumpkins fan since I first caught Cherub Rock on the radio in '93. I jumped on the subway and headed downtown to pick up Siamese Dream and just loved what I heard. What a great album.

I played the mess out of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and enjoyed Adore, too. By 2000, the Pumpkins were calling it quits and on their farewell tour. It came to Barrie as part of Summersault and I was sure to get a ticket.

I was so disappointed by that 2000 Pumpkins show that it turned me completely off the band. The set seemed short, there was no encore, they barely played their hits and when they did they rearranged them significantly. I thought they were awful.

That bitterness had legs, because earlier this year I said "no thanks" when my wife offered to buy us tickets. I did apply for a media pass, but was rejected by Live Nation early yesterday morning. Then, just before 6pm, I got a message from my buddy Bob. He had an extra ticket. I jumped on my bike and headed east.

Pumpkins

From the opening song "Disarm" I knew it was going to be better than 2000. They played a very long set full of their hits and they sounded great. They even covered Bowie and Zeppelin. It was a fantastic night, full of great live music, a wonderful late night bike ride along the lake and the tastiest watermelon I've ever enjoyed.

Smashing Pumpkins

I will say, the Smashing Pumpkins do lack a certain energy live. It doesn't feel like a Pearl Jam or Hip show where the crowd emanates an air of electricity. But the show did indeed rock and I'm glad I got to witness their redemption, 18 years later.

Here's the setlist from last night at Scotiabank Arena:

  1. Disarm
  2. Rocket
  3. Siva
  4. Rhinoceros
  5. Space Oddity
  6. Drown
  7. Zero
  8. The Everlasting Gaze
  9. Stand Inside Your Love
  10. Thirty-Three
  11. Eye
  12. Soma
  13. Blew Away
  14. For Martha
  15. To Sheila
  16. Mayonaise
  17. Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
  18. Landslide
  19. Tonight, Tonight
  20. Stairway to Heaven
  21. Cherub Rock
  22. 1979
  23. Ava Adore
  24. Try, Try, Try
  25. The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning
  26. Hummer
  27. Today
  28. Bullet With Butterfly Wings
  29. Muzzle
  30. Solara
  31. Baby Mine

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Comments (35 - click here to join in!)

Rick

From my co-worker: That was an amazing show. I paid $35 for the ticket and $45 in beers.

August 9, 2018 @ 9:05 AM

bsmntdwllr73

That sure does look like a terrific setlist. "Drown" might be my fave song by them.

August 9, 2018 @ 9:13 AM

jj

31 songs!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope Sir Elton blesses me with this many when I go in September.

August 9, 2018 @ 9:17 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@jj
Average Elton John setlist is usually close to 20 songs. Check setlist.fm if you're curious
'bout song selection. A very handy tool for musical trainspotters such as myself who don't like any
surprises!!

August 9, 2018 @ 9:22 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Three hours is actually a little long for a concert, IMHO. Last year GNR went over 3 hours. There was a lull in this set somewhere between Zero (which was a real crowd pleaser) and Mayonaise that could have been tightened up.

When you see people sitting down during the headliner, you know there's a problem.

During this lull we were treated to complimentary beer and food, so I was personally grateful!

August 9, 2018 @ 9:32 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@Mike
Just realized that they didn't play "Perfect." I would have been disappointed about that.
I'm the guy who always feels cheated when he doesn't hear the songs that time has
largely forgotten. That's why I was ecstatic when 54-40 played "Music Man" on Saturday night.
I love that track, but it was like the 3rd or 4th single from its respective album (Dear Dear).

August 9, 2018 @ 9:35 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@bsmntdwllr73

No Silverfuck, either. :)

August 9, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

bsmntdwllr73

But they did play that track from Batman Forever. How random. Anything associated with
that film should be forever-forgotten, 'cept maybe that tasty U2 track and perhaps The
Offspring's cover of that Damned track.

August 9, 2018 @ 9:45 AM

markosaar

I was excited that they played Eye, and even added a guitar solo. I can't complain about any missing songs ... they played for three hours, AND an encore. I hesitate to say they lacked energy, but they more than made up for it in style.

I was so unbelievably lucky ... almost passed it over too, but my wife bought us "cheap" seats, way in the back row, near the back right corner.

After Metric's set, The Good Ticket Fairy (a representative of Scotiabank Arena) visited us and handed us tickets in the 100s to the left of the stage -- corporate held tickets that had gone unused.

The one thing that I found a bit weird about the show was how centred on Billy Corgan it all was. Almost no point in advertising original line-up members ... he was in the literal spotlight 95% of the time, and then most of the background imagery was all about him too. Not just photos and video, but even graphical design motifs -- his silhouette, signature outfits, etc.

Anyway, it was a wonderful experience and stood as a stark contrast in style to David Byrne last week -- one of the best shows I can ever remember seeing, but Pumpkins were up there too.

For context though, I rarely ever see big stadium/ampitheatre shows.

August 9, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

Urooj Islam

11:30 AM show? No wonder they sucked in 2000.

Billy probably woke up at 11:15 AM and him and the rest of the band hated performing with each other.

The 2018 set list is solid, glad you had a fun time.

August 9, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Greg

@Urooj

Summersault was an all-day festival. The event was organized by Our Lady Peace. On the 2000 tour they gave the headlining spot to the 'retiring' Pumpkins.

I attended the Summersault stop in Ottawa that year. I wasn't as put off as Mike regarding the Pumpkins performance, but I thought the third-billed Foo Fighters and OLP put on a better show than Billy Corgan and crew.

August 9, 2018 @ 1:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Like @Greg said, it was an Edgefest-like all-day show with many bands. Foo Fighters and OLP were definite highlights. And yes, Summersault was an OLP organized event, and if you'd like to learn more about that, listen to my episode with Jeremy Taggart. http://www.torontomike.com/2014/07/toronto_miked_podcast_episode_85.html

August 9, 2018 @ 2:03 PM

Steve

Mike- you say there was a lull between zero and Mayonaise (My fav Pumpkins Song).

Was it how they played that was the issue? Some of those songs are great. Stand Inside Your Love, 33, Soma.

August 9, 2018 @ 2:11 PM

Steve

Basementdweller73.

It was great to hear Music Man on the Lakeshore. Dear Dear is my fav 54-40 album so anything from it works for me. Did you or Mike remember hearing She-La at the show? I don’t but they played it the night before. I think they skipped it from the set list but I could have missed it.

Steve

August 9, 2018 @ 2:13 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Not really a scientific assessment, just that the energy in the arena seemed a little low during this portion of the show. Like people sitting down, checking their phones, chatting with friends, disengaging.

They sounded great... it was a redemption tour, of sorts. I just found it a tad uneven with regards to the aforementioned highly unscientific energy.

August 9, 2018 @ 2:23 PM

mrmojorisinca

Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana are two of the only bands I didn't get a chance to see..I regret not seeing Nirvana, but as much as I liked some tunes from SP never cared to see them live, I think it because Billy Corgan came across as a douche. There my two cents :)

August 9, 2018 @ 2:23 PM

markosaar

It was pretty endearing to hear Corgan gush about Rush at the end of the set. Basically saying it was a mutual love for Rush between him and Chamberlin that lead to the Smashing Pumpkins. I'd have loved to see them covered.

August 9, 2018 @ 3:13 PM

bsmntdwllr73

@Steve
Surprisingly, neither "She-La" nor anything from "Fight For Love" were performed on Saturday
night. And I knew going in that it would be beyond a pipe dream to wish and/or hope for a
performance of "Walk In Line" from '87's "Show Me" album, even though it was the first official
single, but was obviously over-shadowed by its two follow-ups. Fantastic show nonetheless!!

August 9, 2018 @ 6:15 PM

BFD

I love Siamese Dream...I have since it was released. It might even be one of my top ten albums...though narrowing music down to a selection of just the ten best ever is kinda hard as you may well know. :)

I was also at the Summersault show. I know bands like to show off their new material...yada yada yada...but it's so disappointing to hear a band with a ton of great songs play a set compromised of a three-quarters of a new record which maybe sold approximately 499 copies worldwide. I saw the Cult two years ago. They were the headliner of the festival. They've got a good dozen hits from the late 80's-early 90's. But they chose to fill their set with stuff nobody had ever heard of, ignoring the meat and potatoes for the most part. The crowd thinned out like the Jays getting thumped 10-1 in the 4th inning.

One other note...I read the comment above that mrmojorisinca did not get a chance to see Nirvana. I did in 1993. They did not play Smells Like Teen Spirit!

August 9, 2018 @ 7:22 PM

elvis

You also said no to me invite to the concert as well.

August 9, 2018 @ 7:57 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@elvis

Yes, that's right! You're in good company... I said no to you and to Monica. Only a free ticket got me to this show, and since I biked and got two free beers and a free hot dog, this really was a free show.

August 9, 2018 @ 8:26 PM

mrmojorisinca

While SLTS was Nirvana most popular over time it the one that hasn't stood the test of time, imo anyway :)
As I got older I really appreciated the Unplugged Album more and more. As much as I love to "rock out" a good acoustic song will get me ever time :)

August 10, 2018 @ 8:55 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@mrmojorisinca
Good call regarding Nirvana's Unplugged album. I ultimately preferred In Utero over
Nevermind due to its rawer sound (in spots).

August 10, 2018 @ 10:37 AM

Urooj Islam

bsmntdwllr73

I associate "The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning" with the "Watchmen" trailer from 2008 before "The Dark Knight" played. It is a definite top 10 Smashing Pumpkins song for me but I would also like it less if I associated it with "Batman Forever".

August 10, 2018 @ 1:43 PM

bsmntdwllr73

@Urooj Islam
You are absolutely right again, as usual!! Forgot that that particular Sm. Pumpkins track
was used in that trailer for the "Watchmen." And sigh, now I'll have the not-nearly-pixilated enough
'junk' of Dr. Manhattan too clearly in my head for the rest of this Friday afternoon. Shit!!!

August 10, 2018 @ 1:59 PM

Urooj Islam

@bsmntdwllr73

Ahhhhh 2008, when no one realized Zack Snyder was a future hack and he was riding high off "300" and the "Dawn of the Dead" remake.

It was a different time, my friend, which is why that "Watchmen" trailer with that Smashing Pumpkins song debuting before a monster hit like "The Dark Knight" skewed expectations and started Zack Snyder's eventual creative downfall.

August 10, 2018 @ 2:10 PM

bsmntdwllr73

@Urooj Islam
ZS= Ultimate destroyer of DC cinematic universe!! Jury still out on whether the co-creator
of the "Saw" franchise can deliver the goods with "Aquaman." Looks promising so far.
Funny how that stand-alone "Cyborg" film is now seemingly off the production slate.

August 10, 2018 @ 2:13 PM

jess

The seated floor was a little weird to be honest, but the show was stellar and the people around me made for a good evening (always a risk in seats...because...fuck people) Every song I wanted to hear was executed with the utmost musical precision. This was one of the best concerts I've seen in my 20+ years of concerting.

August 10, 2018 @ 2:21 PM

Steve

Basement Dweller

I saw the 54-40 set list for the night before the Lakeshore show and they played the exact same set but with the addition of She-La. shame I’d have loved to hear it. ‘Book’ is my fav song of theirs, but couldn’t imagine them playing such a deep track.

Hope to see them Again before too long.

August 11, 2018 @ 8:43 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@Steve
Your only real chance of hearing that particular track was probably on the original tour for that
album back in 1992. My favourite tracks by a lot of bands are usually end-up being the deep
cuts in the long run due to over-exposure of the hits. I guess they call it popular music for a
reason!!

August 11, 2018 @ 10:02 AM

markosaar

Sidenote, listening to Eye on the Lost Highway soundtrack for the first time in ... at least five years, if not over ten. Crap it sounds great now. Ahead of its time I think.

August 12, 2018 @ 10:37 PM

jj

bsmntdwllr73 - i will check out list.fm - I am kinda hoping that it's more than 20 songs cause it is his last big stadium tour...

I love that TM said no to his wife and Elvis, but yes to a free ticket. I would have saved sooo much money this summer if I had that approach - Lauryn Hill was not worth the $ I paid - simply because I don't love her the way my friend who asked me to go did...

August 13, 2018 @ 9:49 AM

bsmntdwllr73

@jj
Elton has based his setlist around that particular number of songs for many years now.
As I've written previously, I saw him in '95 and his voice was pretty knackered already
at that point. Sad when you think of such killer vocal tracks like "Harmony" (sadly, no more!!)
and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Should have probably switched to an all-instrumental format or
retired decades ago. Hopefully you'll see him on a good night!! (setlist.fm, by the way. Very handy!!)

As for Ms. Lauryn Hill, she has had a horrific reputation as a 'live' performer going back to her
terrible MTV Unplugged debacle at the start of the Aughts. Some folks might consider her the
female equivalent of the legendary George "NoShow" Jones at his inebriated worst, minus the
debilitating 'suds!!' Can't believe people are still interested in her after nearly 20 years without
new music. Wyclef Jean was clearly the creative engine behind The Fugees.

August 13, 2018 @ 2:19 PM

James

That Summersault show was terrible. My friends and I left halfway through the set right after the Don't You Want Me cover.

We could hear Cherub Rock/Bullet With Butterfly Wings on the way to our car. We all felt like we made the right decision to beat traffic.

August 13, 2018 @ 3:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@jj

I'm all about the free ticket these days. On my way to see USS now!

August 13, 2018 @ 4:59 PM

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