Written by Eddie Ferranti
May 15, 2013 at 08:00 PM
ImageIt felt like “Deja Vu” all over again when Dr.Ray and I were able to shoehorn our way into the Bayou Music Center to catch the latest version of the Smashing Pumpkins.

Back in the 90’s, when they rivaled the likes of Pearl Jam and Nirvana in the grunge sweepstakes, they played this same arena, although it went by the Aerial Theater back then. Oh yeah, it was Billy Corgan with 3 other musicians this go around, but the results were pretty much the same for the adoring throng that showed up to witness the gig.

It was pretty amazing really that Corgan sounded pretty much the same now at age 46 as he did at 26! Able to scream when need be or whisper loudly, he still had it goin’ on!

Smashing Pumpkins has always been Corgan’s baby that he still adores and he seems to have revived the spirit to make it viable again. 2012’s ‘Oceania’ was featured heavily this night with some highlights being the spacey keyboard driven title track, “Pinwheels.” “Quasar” and a spooky ass tune “Pale Horse,” which had a repetitive word of “Thorazine” that fit well with the weirdo lighting and abstract setting this night.

The lighting was a nightmare and quite frankly it pissed me off. Huge triangle blocks of lighting blinded the audience all night at an annoying pace. The only person you could really see was Mr. Corgan and that was mainly in a blue haze of nothing. Why bands do this sort of thing is beyond me. It makes me want to scream sometimes.

The new tunes were “listened” to by the crowd, but they wanted the meat and potatoes stuff, and they got it from this version of Smashing Pumpkins.

ImageDrawing from albums of note ‘Siamese Dream’ and ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,’ they delivered handsome versions of “Rocket”, “Tonight, Tonight”, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”  and the killer closer “Today”.

Mike Byrne was pretty bad ass on drums with very Keith Moonish aggression and new guitarist, Jeff Schroeder, backed up BC’s mashing with some bluesey type stuff that sky rocketed up to metalish heights on “Zero”.  Bass was filled nicely by former Veruca Salt hottie Nicole Florentino and she added some nice backing vocals, too. No matter who the line-up is (and for how long) it is still the explosive presence of Billy Corgan that drives this wagon.

His Uncle Fester looks still are bigger than life on stage and although he can come off as a brutish prick at times he still brings home a leave-it-all-out-there gig. This night was no exception and hopefully he can hang onto a band for awhile….See ya out there boys and girls.