HomeMusicSmashing Pumpkins 30th Anniversary Show: Courtney Love, Chino, & More Join the...

Smashing Pumpkins 30th Anniversary Show: Courtney Love, Chino, & More Join the Party

Pop Break Live: Smashing Pumpkins 30th Anniversary Show at The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ

Words & Photos by Patrick Gilrane

The Smashing Pumpkins celebrated their 30th anniversary with fans at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on August 2, 2018. For fans, this was a evening that could only be described as extraordinary. With a guest list that included performance by: Chino Moreno of Deftones, Davey Havok of AFI, Peter Hook of New Order, Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer of The Killers, Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and Courtney Love this was truly a once in a lifetime event.

With the current line up being William Corgan, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin and Jeff Schroeder, this Pumpkins’ lineup is as close to original as I think we’ll see. This band has clearly had its share of up and downs along the way but they seem to have found its stride. This is a tight musical unit with a renewed sense of clarity, musical integrity and confidence, and yes, this band makes beautiful noise.

The concert started with the lights dimming and 18,000 fans coming to life. The Smashing Pumpkins take the stage to “Rocket” off Siamese Dream with its typical Pumpkins fuzz-laden rhythm guitar layered with a melodic, pulsing riff. The stage set up was rather simple, nothing complex, a simple lighting scheme in place, almost to not distract from what’s to come.

The Pumpkins continued on an 11-song run playing a mixture from their extensive discography, some of which hasn’t been played live in over 10 years. I have to say that the setlist seemed to favor the diehard fan, one who really listens, not the fan of radio hits. The band continued with “Siva,” Rhinoceros,” Zero” and “The Everlasting Gaze.” Corgan at the microphone dressed like a character from a sci-fi move, but was always vocally on point.

Corgan and James Iha thanked the crowd then introduced the first special guest of the night, Chino Moreno of the Deftones. Moreno performed two songs from way back, the first, “Bodies” off Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and “Snail” off the album Gish.

In between special guest the Pumpkins continued with “Tonight Tonight” then a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” featuring Corgan on the piano — the crowd vigorously singing along to every word. The next special guest would be Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer of The Killers who would perform “Cherub Rock” off of Siamese Dream and the title track off the album 1979.

Things would change up a bit with the next special guest Mark McGrath, unlike other guest who performed Pumpkins songs, McGrath would perform the Sugar Ray song “Fly” and a rowdy version of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.” McGrath brought a different vibe, working the entire stage from side to side engaging the crowd who was eager to respond.

Then things began to get very interesting. Corgan took the microphone saying “This next guest is a friend, a lover and always an inspiration, please welcome Courtney Love.” The crowd roared. Love took the stage proclaiming the next song was written with Billy Corgan driving the band right into “Celebrity skin” by Love’s band Hole. Love would remain on stage performing “Malibu” and what I would consider to be one of the highlights of the show “Bullet with Butterfly Wings,” a duet with Corgan that would shake the PNC Bank Center.

Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order were next to take the stage playing “Age of Consent,” with Corgan and Davey Havok of AFI joining Hook for a rousing version of “Transmission.” Things were beginning to come to an end, the set concluding with Corgan, Havok, Hook and Love playing “Love will Tear Us Apart!”

The Smashing Pumpkins would return for two encores, playing their new song Solara and the cover “Baby Mine”. The Pumpkins played a total of 28 songs during their 2.5-hour set including the encore!

In conclusion this was an incredible musical experience, the Pumpkins who emerged during the grunge movement managed to maintain their identity and clearly exercised their past demons to become a musical powerhouse again. Corgan and bandmates who at one time seemed to be barley hanging on seem reinvigorated, clearly enjoying just simply making music and in fact seem to enjoy each other’s presence, which is evident by their communication (including non-verbal) during tonight’s show.

I went into this with mixed expectations, seriously how often do reunions actually work? At the end of tonights show you couldn’t help but be a bit emotional, seeing a group that at one time was in such a state of disarray emerge focused and relative again was like seeing the underdog win. My opinion, The Smashing Pumpkins are back!

Complete Smashing Pumpkins 30th Anniversary Show Setlist:

The Everlasting Gaze
Stand Inside Your Love
Blew Away
Bodies (with Chino Moreno)
Snail (with Chino Moreno)
Tonight, Tonight
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover)
Cherub Rock (with Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer)
1979 (with Dave Keuning and Mark Stoermer)
Fly (Sugar Ray cover with Mark McGrath)
Breaking the Law (Judas Priest cover with Mark McGrath)
Celebrity Skin (Hole cover with Courtney Love)
Malibu (Hole cover with Courtney Love)
Bullet With Butterfly Wings (with Courtney Love)
Age of Consent (New Order cover with Peter Hook)
Transmission (Joy Division cover with Peter Hook and Davey Havok)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover with Peter Hook, Davey Havok and Courtney Love)

Baby Mine (Betty Noyes cover)

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.


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