Concert Review + Photography: Smashing Pumpkins at Roy Wilkins Auditorium (St Paul, MN)

Billy Corgan

Smashing Pumpkins (Chicago, IL)
October 20th, 2012
Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, MN

Smashing Pumpkins Gallery: Smashing Pumpkins

The 90s were a great time for music (as far as I’m concerned) and The Smashing Pumpkins had a lot to do with it. Albums like Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness ruled airwaves locally on the good ol 93.7 The Edge and REV 105. But alas, those stations are gone, and so are James Iha, D’arcy Wretzky, Jimmy Chamberlin and Melissa Auf der Maur from the group.

So what the hell is going on? Isn’t Zwan still going or something? No, Billy Corgan is back with a new crew and new Smashing Pumpkins album named Oceania. “They said this band could not continue, but here we are” said Corgan during the show on Saturday night. The show kicked off its first set with a full play of Oceania from start to finish beneath the huge globe-shaped video screen. This was quite the ballsy move on their part seeing that most of the album does not have the classic Pumpkins sound to it. “The Celestials” was my favorite from the set, some of the rest became a little too moody and jammish.

Corgan took time out to antagonize the crowd a bit, working the Chicago / Minneapolis sport rivalry angles and drawing a mix of boos. laughter and meat-head angst. Asking things like “Don’t the North Stars play here?” and “Aren’t the Minnesota Vikings undefeated this year? Donté Stallworth throws to Randy Moss, right?”. Each poke was followed by a devilishly playful laugh and the proclamation that he is indeed, an evil sport fan.

The second set of the concert was what many of us had been waiting for. “Disarm”, “Cherub Rock” and “Mayonaise” from the classic Siamese Dream and “Tonight, Tonight”, “Zero”, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and even the long-winded “X.Y.U.” from Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness made the set. Sadly missed, were “1979”, “Thirty-Three”, “Today” and “Rocket”. “Black Diamond” got the call to finish the show, probably due to The Replacements covering it in 1984. Always a popular move in the Twin Cities to give our boys a shout out, but really, we wanted more Smashing Pumpkins material.

Set list:
The Celestials
Violet Rays
My Love is Winter
One Diamond, One Heart
Pale Horse
The Chimera

— Short Break —

Space Oddity (Bowie cover)
Tonight, Tonight
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Song for a Son
Cherub Rock

— Encore —

Ava Adore
Black Diamond (KISS cover)

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