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Concert Review: The Smashing Pumpkins revive nostalgia and 1990s sound in the Schott

The Smashing Pumpkins perform “1979” at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus on Aug. 11 during their 2018 Shiny and Oh So Bright tour. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

For the first time since 2000, three of the four original members of the Smashing Pumpkins reunited for their 2018 “Shiny and Oh So Bright” tour.

Despite tension amongst the bandmates following their initial breakup, the Smashing Pumpkins regrouped and delivered a nostalgic performance as if it were still the 1990s.

Original members of the band, lead vocalist Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin were joined onstage by guitarist Jeff Schroeder at their latest tour stop Saturday night at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

Absent from the lineup was bassist D’arcy Wretzky, who left the band in 1999 and has maintained oftentimes strained relationships with other bandmates.

With this tour concentrating on their first five studio albums, Corgan set the tone for the night and stole the audience’s attention by opening with a solo performance of “Disarm,” complete with background images and footage of a young Corgan.

Although communication between the band and the audience might have been limited, the audience reciprocated well to each song the Smashing Pumpkins performed and stood on their feet.

From the more aggressive, guitar-heavy songs such as “Cherub Rock” and “Zero” to classics “Tonight, Tonight” and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” to the coming-of-age narrative of “1979,” Corgan led the Smashing Pumpkins through an exciting setlist of their best tunes that took the audience back twenty-some years.

The group also performed covers of earlier folk rock anthems like David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

Iha also got his chance to take over the mic with his candid performance of “Blew Away,” prompting Corgan to step aside for some time.

With a majority of the original members performing on the same stage, which seemed impossible a few years ago, the Smashing Pumpkins passed through each song and reminded the audience of their distinct, varying sound.

Coming from the same decade of alternative-rock powerhouses Nirvana and Pearl Jam, the Smashing Pumpkins might not always be seen in the same light as the aforementioned, but they have a sound still cherished today and will certainly never be forgotten, regardless of the decade.

Despite the title of a “reunion tour,” which might be associated with longtime classic rock bands reliving their glory days, the “Shiny and Oh So Bright” tour gives everything a Smashing Pumpkins fan could ever want, with the exception of a missing Wretzky, and makes it seem as if no time has passed since the group last toured together.

 

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