Concert review: The Smashing Pumpkins


Schottenstein Center, Columbus, OH – August 11, 2018

Toward the end of the Columbus stop of their “Shiny and Oh So Bright” tour, Smashing Pumpkins frontman/fountainhead/dictator (benevolent and/or otherwise) Billy Corgan announced to – or, perhaps, reminded, though it was news to me – the assembled throng that 2018 marked the band’s thirtieth anniversary. As someone with almost as many years invested in the b(r)and as the members themselves – and, often, many more spent consecutively – I found the milestone interesting trivia but not exactly possessed of abundant applicable meaning. To the fans that helped make them arguably the Grunge era’s most artistically resonant musical export, The Smashing Pumpkins have already existed in a sort of non-corporeal form – meaning Corgan, his prodigious, occasionally brilliant (even in latter days) songbook, his demonstrably enormous ego, and what always seemed like a rotating cast of anonymous session players filling out the roster – for an intolerable amount of time. Continue reading “Concert review: The Smashing Pumpkins”

Concert review: The Smashing Pumpkins/Marilyn Manson


Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater, Tampa, FL – July 24, 2015

The historic first joint live venture between The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson has been dubbed, with characteristic humility and understatement, “The End Times Tour”. It does make a weird sort of sense that the leaders of perhaps the two most prominent cults of personality to survive the free-for-all that was ‘90s alternative rock would one day tour together. It also makes sense that the two would exhaust most every option that allowed them to maintain top billing and/or autonomy before grudgingly doing so. The infamous “Mr. Manson” and persnickety Pumpkin King Billy Corgan achieved their respective heights through mixtures of talent, ambition, artistic vision, and sheer guile (the exact percentages may be tweaked or spiked in the favor of one category or other). Continue reading “Concert review: The Smashing Pumpkins/Marilyn Manson”