The Smashing Pumpkins 9/14/2010 – The Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
Review and Photos by thenaturalstoner
I always viewed the Smashing Pumpkins as one of those great 90’s alternative bands I never got the pleasure to see live, so when I saw their Spokane tour date announced I purchased tickets as fast as I could. Nevermind this is essentially the “Billy Corgan Band”, with he being the only original band member remaining, I wanted to hear HIM sing THOSE songs. Well, last nights show in Spokane can be summed up in one word: Sauna.
Upon entering The Knitting Factory in time to catch most of opener Bad City (ugh), one was immediately smashed in the face with the brunt force of 1,500 hot, sweaty, rancid bodies (mostly dudes at that). According to Knitting Factory staff, Billy Corgan “has been sick and asked us to turn off all the air, because it is easier on his throat”. I don’t know if this is true or not, but this venue was EASILY the most overheated, muggy, stinky, sweaty show I have ever been a part of, and being told this further cemented Mr. Corgans “Diva” status in my mind. “I paid $40 for this? I’m about to pass out. They should be catering to US” was a common theme amongst the crowd in the hallway, which was the only place in the entire venue where you could take a semi-breather.
It should be noted that Billy referenced the heat himself midway through their set, so who knows the real story. Maybe someone out there can correct? For some reason I tend to believe the Spokane staff on this one though.
The music itself was actually pretty fun. Drinks were flowing and I was there with several friends, so that part was enjoyable. It was great hearing the old classics and most of the new stuff I heard was good enough too. Today, Drown and Bullet With Butterfly Wings were my personal highlights, but the Pumpkin diehards appeared to be loving pretty much all of it. I thought the bands playing was tight and they were having a good amount of fun up there. They did a little tease of Eric Claptons Cocaine, sung to the tune of SPO-KANE, and Billy mentioned that one of the band members was the nephew of Paul Stanley and they jammed a little Kiss riff, but for the most part it was a standard looking setlist (based off of recent SP setlists I have seen). I wish I was more of a Pumpkins diehard to give more info on exactly what was played, but it sure seemed to be a mix of old and new, covering their entire catalog.
Apparently a day or two before the show there was a preview in the Spokane Inlander magazine that Billy took offense to via several Twitter posts (see http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/journal-vitriolic-observations/2010/09/billy-corgan-vs-blogger-a-twitter-opera.html) and a “I guess we should have quit in 1997, huh” reference was dropped to spite the writer hopefully in attendance. I was wondering if the band would reference the incident at all and got a chuckle out of Billys quip.
The heat inside this venue however, cannot be understated. People were wet and dazed and some in attendance were in a world of trouble. I didn’t even have much to drink and had to stop early because it was so unbearable inside the venue. I have tickets here to see Keller Williams in a couple months and you can bet your ass I will be calling the venue ahead of time to see if the air is working. It was the most uncomfortable I have been at a concert ever and had a 100% impact on the enjoyment of the show.
“TURN THE FUCKING AIR ON!”