Seattle Space Needle Reflection at Night

Smashing Pumpkins at the Paramount Theater

Horrendous Photo of Billy Corgan at the Paramount Theater

The Smashing Pumpkins played the Paramount last Wednesday night. After opener Liz Phair did her thing, Corgan began the show with a string of mostly-acoustic-ish (solo acoustic through a fairly large PA system) songs, then segued into some fully-electric songs, back to acoustic-ish, back to electric, back to acoustic-ish, etc, etc. The rest of the band came and went throughout the gig, depending on whether the song was a band or solo number.

When all was said and done, it was maybe 40% traditional rock, 60% quasi-acoustic, all kind of mixed together. I’ve never seen anything completely like it, but it was pretty interesting. Corgan and Co. were onstage for a solid 3 hours, and the crowd was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, completely halting the show a couple of times with spontaneous standing ovations. One in particular, after a full-band version of “Today”, lasted a solid 5 minutes, and choked Billy up so much that he had to take a few moments to get himself together.

The crowd was about as white-diverse as they come, running the gamut from rich suburban glamourpusses, to “how’d the homeless guy get in here?”.

For the first time, I actually heard SP play the venerable Hole song, “Malibu”. It’s probably the worst-kept secret in music that Corgan wrote the song, although he informed us all with a wink that it was a, *cough*, “collaboration”.

All-in-all, it was a hell of a show. For reasons of which I’m not entirely sure, Corgan gets overlooked a lot when people talk about the greatest this or that in music. He’s without a doubt one of the best songwriters of the last 30 years, and in my opinion, he at least makes the list of best guitarists of all time. There are a lot of great, technically-proficient guitar players out there, and it’s impossible to rank them with any real accuracy (it’s all a matter of taste), but for my money, Corgan, McCready, Cantrell, Thayil, line up behind Lil’ Wayne on my personal list … as well as yours. I mean, most things in the world of music are debatable, but some things just are.

Little Wayne’s face-melting, sonic immolating axe solos leave everyone who hears them in a state of euphoric, nay, orgasmic bliss.

Some things, we can argue. Wayne’s place at the top of the greatest guitarists list is not one of them.

I digress.

Thanks Billy, the show was awesome as usual. If I had to find something to critique, however, I’d have to say that I did get a little tired showing people my ticket and explaining that I did, indeed, have a home.


Cardinal Rule
Tonight Tonight
World’s Fair
Space Oddity
Jesus I Mary of the Sea
Space Boy
Sorrows in Blue
Stand Inside Your Love



One of Many Standing Ovations Throughout the Night

One of Many Standing Ovations Throughout the Night

After the Show

After the Show

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