Smashing Pumpkins Reportedly Don’t Have ‘Pulling Power’ Of Pearl Jam


The Smashing Pumpkins recently performed in London for one of the two European shows to wrap up the Shiny and Oh So Bright tour, and a reviewer mentioned that the band didn’t have the ‘pulling power’ of Pearl Jam at the O2 Arena.

Guardian reported:

That this doesn’t serve as a salutary lesson in the perils of excess is testimony to the depth and breadth of Smashing Pumpkins’ catalogue. Despite their initial association with grunge, they were never one-dimensional shouters, and the best moments tonight come with their drifts towards tightly constructed AOR, on 1979 and the sublime Try Try Try, or where droning guitars mesh high and low notes, on Rhinoceros or Drown. Billy Corgan has a facility with melody and an interest in tone and texture that is miles ahead of most of his alt-rock contemporaries.

Yet this first visit to the UK since guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain rejoined hasn’t quite filled Wembley Arena – there are patches of empty seats – which leads one to wonder why this band, whose take on a fairly limited formula is so inventive, don’t have the pulling power of the much more workaday Pearl Jam.

The Arts Desk reported:

And the original songs? The opening thirty-minute salvo is undeniable, from the sharp acoustic Siamese Dream anthems “Disarm” (“the killer in me is the killer in you!”), “Rocket”, “Siva” and “Rhinoceros” to the signature grunge guitar feedback of fan favourite “Drown” from the 1992 film soundtrack to Singles (and that’s five of the seven opening songs). This is a band whose arsenal of songs, certainly up until 2000, was pretty much peerless. And they play most songs a fan might want, albeit peppered with a few they don’t necessarily need, but they’ve also got a point to make. The hits come at the end: “Cherub Rock”, “Today”, “1979”, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”, then they leave and encore with new single “Silvery Sometimes”, closing with a Hawaiian-style take on “Baby Mine”, as if to say we’re not just soft and heavy, we can do weird and wonderful covers too (The original is by Betty Noyes).

If they can somehow get original bassist D’arcy Wretzky back in the fold for the next tour, every single person at this show would pay good money to hear her sing “Daydream”. Until then, The Pumpkins remain in season.