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2007 Concert Review (San Diego)

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Smashing Pumpkins, San Diego State Uni Open-Air Theater (say that 3 times real fast...) 

Wed 19 Sep – The Smashing Pumpkins, Hellride

I am going to post a setlist that I borrowed from another punter (well, this person put the setlist up on the SP website in their review of the show, so that's what I mean by "borrowed the setlist". As if I could've got a REAL setlist). And underneath each song I will include a wee bit of commentary on the live performance. As they played 20 songs including encores, and at least 4 of these songs were over 10 minutes long, this could get ugly...errr, I mean long.

Setlist for San Diego show, 19/09/2007

01.Superchrist

This song is one of a few that had me worried about the born-again tendencies of he who is destined to be my lllllover, William Patrick Corgan Jnr. And yet, after seeing SP live this year, my respect (and lllllust) for Mr. Corgan remains undiminished and my fears that my idol was crumbling before my very eyes somewhat eased. I mean, at least he's not preaching to anybody! But moving on... "Superchrist" is a song I am not familiar with, as I think it's on one of the special versions of Zeitgeist that have been released. But the song was one to shred the eardrums, basically. Loud, deadly, rockin' and heart-stoppin'. It was one hell of a way to open the show - like a massive punch in the face. Hehe.

02.Doomsday Clock

This song is one of my favourites on Zeitgeist. "Please don't stop. It's lonely at the top. These lonely days, will they ever stop?" If you've heard the single you'll know it's loud and ominous, sort of like a massive thundercloud rolling on in. Or a freight train about to run you over. It's a slow grind, if ya know what I mean. Woo! hehe. Seriously though, the vocal harmonies were great live - Ginger Reyes does a much more obvious job of singing backup than D'Arcy ever appeared to do. I still love D'Arcy and miss her, but I'm being honest!

03.Hummer

AAAAAAAAAAAH. They played this at the other show too, and there was sniffling going on from my corner. It was played as a perfect rendition of what you hear on Siamese Dream, though perhaps a little bit faster. This has always been one of my favourite SP songs, so hearing it live for the second time (and in much friendlier company I must say than I had been in at the Tucson show of doom hehe) was very special. The crowd sang along very audibly, to every single word. My heart swelled with love as the song meandered off into its beautiful, sparkling-river-in-late-afternoon-sunshine ending.

04.Bullet With Butterfly Wings

KABOOM! I know, I know, we're not talking about "XYU" here. But "Bullet" (from Mellon Collie) went KABOOM. It was such a monster - loud, raw and harsh. It did a damn good job of ripping up the crowd, and once again the crowd's own singing could be clearly heard alongside Billy's own.

05.Drown

Mother effers, this song (from the Singles soundtrack of Seattle grunge fame) was luscious. The girl behind me - who claims she's having Billy Corgan's babies. ha! we'll see about that - squealed and said, "It's my soooong!" and I reckon she was probably having the best moment of her life right then. Or at very least it was in her top 5 momemts! She had never seen the band live before either, and they were her favourite band, AND she's going to be Billy Corgan's lllllover (we just had SO much in common!). But anyway, back to me and what I thought (obviously this is important). I actually thought, How absolutely surreal to be standing here on a cliff's edge, precariously balanced on these high heels, gazing down at at least half of my favourite band and listening to this magnificent song as they play it live. That's what I thought!

06.Bring the Light

Here we have the lowlight of my evening with the Pumpkins. I just can't like this song. It's such a pity, because even I recognise that the song (which is from Zeitgeist) is good musically. But the lyrics. I have to block my ears. Gahhhhh. "Son of God you know you must arrive." Makes evil little inner atheist feel nauseous (and yet I am usually tolerant...but only of anything except Christian music and country & western). I'm not entirely sure what the song is about, I just know that I shudder whenever it starts playing, purely because of the lyrics. So anyway. Not a high point of the night for me, and I bided (bode) my time until the song ended.

07.That's the Way (My Love Is)

This song is rockin' and beautiful, and I like the sentiment behind it (it's from Zeigteist)! I very much enjoyed the live version; Ginger Reyes' bassline stands out in this one. My rival for Billy's lllllove agreed with me that it is a song we both like, probably for ridiculous girly reasons (it's all romantic and shit).

08.Tonight, Tonight

Oh my little lordy. I nearly died of joy at this point. This was one of those "AAAHHHH I am going go cry right now" moments, and in fact I felt that way through the whole song. The strongest feelings were, of course, intense overwhelming joy and exhilaration. But the tears, the HAPPY tears! Anyway... "Tonight, Tonight" (from Mellon Collie) is beautiful of course, in any format, but when they played it this night it just took on a bit of extra magic. The crowd was mesmerised but not so much that they forgot to sing along. Once again a chorus of rabid SP fans ate up every word and savoured every chord, me being in that number of course. And quite rabid.

09.Tarantula

This song (the first single from Zeitgeist) when played live was just as rip-roaring, brain-frying and blood-pumping as the recorded version. Actually, maybe it's even better live. I dunno, those recorded solos are pretty cool. The bridge was stretched out to be even slower, but the band sprang back into rocking action perfectly easily.

10.Glass And The Ghost Children

They appeared to make this song into more of an epic than it is on Machina, which is no mean feat. I really liked it but I would've quite like to have heard the song the way it was recorded, 'cause I love that song. So haunting and strange and sad. The live version sounded quite "dreamy prog-rock" as it swayed through the various facets of the original track, and the very last part of the song was a lot louder than on the album, more wall-of-sound guitars but not like a power-chord fest. i.e. it wasn't brutal.

11.1979 (Acoustic)

This was cool. Billy with his guitar alone on stage. But I kinda would've loved to have seen a full band version a la Mellon Collie. Because he played it solo and acoustic, you could more easily hear the crowd's response and cheers. There was quite a bit of arm-swaying going on if I recall correctly. I taped a bit of this song too, though once again the sound is from the Realm of Dodgyville.

12.To Sheila (Full Band)

I got a full band version of THIS song, and it was very pretty indeed. Sort of like those live versions of "Stumbleine" they were doing back in the 1998 shows in NSW). "To Sheila" is one of the most lovely songs ever written, and definitely a highlight from Adore (it's the opening track). It's breathtaking in its usual acoustic form, and yet with the full band the beauty was just seen from another angle. Like I said...the equation goes Stumbleine (full band live)" = "To Sheila" (full band live)((sorta))

13.United States

The crowd went nuts for this song, an epic shredder from Zeitgeist. I'm still not sure about the lyrics, I mean what is it about? Can't be in support of war surely! But regardless, the song definitely makes me jump up and dance. It's SUUUUUPER loud and definitely I would equate it with a steamroller. It has obvious "Silverfuck"-esque aspects, i.e. the style of loud-quiet-loud. It isn't quite as good as "Silverfuck", for one thing it's far less intricate. But still, it's good and it makes one dance off the calories from the beer one is drinking at the show (one was me, I reckon you didn't guess that...).

14.Today

Well what shall I say? This Siamese Dream classic was very cool to see and hear live, of course, and the crowd lapped it up, but it's never been one of the songs that most blew my mind away. It was better live than some other live versions I've heard have been, at least, and I most definitely danced. I was dancing all night, with varying degrees of insanity.

15.Starla

At this point I was once again teetering on the edge between tears and no tears. HAPPY TEARS, don't forget. "Starla" is a magical and quite cartoonish (that's the word I could think of, this song is hard to describe!) epic track from Pisces Iscariot. The song starts out dreamily and of course, beautifully, and gets a few marks louder with every new verse. Eventually it turns into a bone-crunching chug-a-lug powerchord fest. "Starla" is always uplifting, from start to finish and the many minutes in betwen. It's never sad or depressing or any of that stuff the SP are so good at. And so I found myself under "Starla"'s spell all the way through 10+ minutes of exhilarated/ing Pumpkins, and I was not disappointed.

16.Ava Adore (Rocking version)

Yes, whoever said that this version of "Ava Adore" was 'rocking' had a valid point. Yowza. Another moment when Billy Corgan might've required a lozenge or five in the aftermath. Maybe some bandaids for his shredded fingertips too. The Adore version of this song is more groovy, funky, etc. But this night the Pumpkins brought out the LOUD, and happily flaunted it.

17.Heavy Metal Machine (White Rabbit)

Continuing in the LOUD vein, the Pumpkins did a real number on this song. The version from the album Machina was a fuzzy steamroller of malcontent and cynicism. The live version was more menacing than that, and once again the heavy metal vox came into effect. Once again Billy gave his vocal chords a shreddin'. I wasn't all that overjoyed with this live version, as I really love the album version of the song. But I did enjoy singing along (I did no heavy metal screaming of my own, even though a high school friend once told me I'd be good in a metal band hehe) to the bits I recognised. ;) It's strange when a song you know very well becomes greatly unrecognisable to you! Still, kudos to this band (and any other) for trying different ways to play the same old same old songs.

18.Silverfuck (The End) (encore 1)

Holy mother of motherfuckers the world over - this was most definitely the highlight of highlights for me, although there were highlights... I'll stop saying highlights now. Seriously though. I thought my heart would stop when the first few chords of "Silverfuck" cut through the air. I could not stop jumping around for the next 12 minutes or so, and several times I thought I might pass out from pure excitement. Hehe. I think "Cherub Rock" would've done me in permanently if they'd played it, but "Silverfuck" came pretty close.

19.Muzzle (encore 2)

Well! What a beautiful and wonderful and warm way of finishing off a totally rockin' and mindblowin' night. This song is truly one of the most magnificent songs ever written, full of romance, hope, loud guitars, shimmering chords that definitely make the ol' eyeballs ache and sting (happy tears, HAPPY TEARS!!!!) and...just sheer damn beauty, man. I could have sobbed. I didn't, but I could have! I walked out of the Open Air Theater the happiest woman alive.

On a side note, I was still quite puzzled by the fact that Billy Corgan had not yet become my lllllover.

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