Despite my suspicions about the resuscitation of the Smashing Pumpkins brand name, I must say seeing the reconfigured line-up last night was a good time. As a matter of fact, it was a really good time. And probably better than previous tours with previous line-ups. Yes, I'm probably out of line for thinking that, but let me explain.
Maybe I'm not recalling the right performances, but I don't think I'd ever seen the Pumpkins perform where it didn't feel awkward. Be it tension between band members or the playing was sloppy, but something felt off. What I saw last night was a well-oiled show with a sense of spontaneity. This was a $70 ticket show for me and I didn't feel gypped. Aside from the not-so-appealing-to-me tunes from Zeitgeist, I enjoyed the mix of singles, album tracks and "Drown." Yes, "Drown."
New members Ginger Reyes, Jeff Schroeder and Lisa Harriton fit well with Jimmy and Billy, coming across as valued members more than hired guns. Harriton and Reyes' harmonies on "Tarantula" were a very welcome surprise, as was Schroeder's ability to shred with the best of Billy's shredding. It all got me thinking this new line-up was meant to carry the Pumpkins legacy forward without ugly drama rather than piss all over their legacy with a cash-grab album and tour.
That said, I think I understood that I'm not one of those dedicated fans that refers to the band as "Pumpkins." The type that obsesses over everything they've done. In no fault to those people, I just can't consider myself one of them. I still like a lot of the band's material, but the days of me watching Viuephoria over and over again have long since passed.