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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Smashing of Pumpkins, Gnashing of Teeth and Bleeding of Ears 
or Uncle Fester takes his kids to work day

Okay. The set was cool. I'll give him that much.

Okay, so last night my work gal pal, Sue and I shuffled off to Mr. Small's (site of last Sunday's uber fabulous Old 97's show) to catch a sold out Smashing Pumpkins show. Billy Corgan, channeling Uncle Fester in an unflattering striped Brian Zatabatik shirt, is touring with a newly formed band of unknown youngsters half his age which he procured from an open audition call. It literally was like take your kids to work night.

Uncle Fester looking resplendently off kilter in Brian Zatabatik

I'm not a Pumpkins enthusiast, but there are a number of songs I find brilliant, and I've never seen them live before so I thought I'd bite and tag along. Should be cool, right?

My twitter feed says it all:

"Well..that was a self-absorbed, over indulgent, atonal piece of shite gigantic waist of $50."

Outside of the three hits, "Today", "Killer in Me" and "Tonight, Tonight" the rest was just a bunch of monotonous, grinding guitar and bore-me-to-tears jamming. The sound system is horrible at best in this building anyway so lyrics are downright unintelligible, especially when they insist on cranking everything up to 15. All that added up to every song sounding almost exactly like the last. I swear there was absolutely no variety of tempo, melody or beat.

A big fat UGH!!

Uncle Fester and his band of children

You can tell I was less than thrilled. I only recorded one song for Pete's sake! Thankfully it was early on and a good one. The crowd was singing along to "Today" full force.

I should have been tipped off to the monotony to come from the opening act, Killing Hanna's screeching, Howler Monkey, ear bleeding, angsty anger. Two thoughts kept crossing my mind during Billy fest:

1. Will you finish up already!
2. Tell me again how these people are so popular and Old 97's aren't!?

And to top it all off it was like 1000 degrees with suffocating humidity in that dump. Every time someone walked past they rubbed a fresh layer of clammy slime on my arm or back. Once in a while there was actually a short breath of cool air...or maybe it was just some yahoo breathing down my back. Whatever. It was a sweet, brief reprieve.

Smiling through the beads 

Look at us. We look adorable, but we're glistening with sweat. I mean my yeti-stache was dripping. Seriously. ICK!

Okay, a couple high points, one literally. As Richard Dawson would say...

"Show me ... GANJA!!"

Dude, there was more sickening sweet smoke swirling around all up in my nostrils than in Ziggy Marley's garage. Alas, there was not enough Mary Jane in the building that could have made me enjoy this concert, but the contact high was rather nostalgic.

The other positive point of the evening was the drummer. This kid was amazing!! Hammering out the beat box like men twice his age with twice the experience. This tender tot of 20 has gone from working at McDonald's a month ago to pounding the skins on tour with Billy Corgan.

This tyke is pinching himself everyday

Only in America, right? You gotta love it. 

So there you have it. Billy's tour is not the brightest bulb in the musical pack. Unless you're a died-in-the-wool Pumpkins fan or have access to kilos of weed, save your money and just pop your favorite SP CD in the player.

You're welcomed.

1 comment:

Brad Fisher said...

But seriously, how was the show?