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Smashing Pumpkins @ Gibson Amp. - 12/3/08

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Billed as the 20th Anniversary tour of the band, Billy Corgan and what remains of the Smashing Pumpkins (Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin) brought their "20 Years of Sadness Tour" through Los Angeles last Wednesday (12/3/08). Their two-night stand featured entirely different set lists each night, the first entitled "Black Sunshine" and the second "White Crosses." This review is of the latter of the two.

Much has been said regarding this tour, from Billy's ranting and whining about his fans to inviting a fan on stage for a critique of a previous night's performance and then berating said fan after he said the previous night "sucked" or what people have described as boring, uninspired set lists, nonetheless it has been a rough tour for Mr. Corgan and Co. Luckily for Los Angeles Smashing Pumpkins fans the Billy Corgan on display on this night was none of those and what was on display was a strong set (mostly) from a band trying to reinvent itself and find it's relevance in the new musical landscape.

The first half or so of the set was brilliantly constructed, opening with "Ava Adore" and "1979" the band pleasing fans early. This has been the general sentiment of the tour as well, Most of the well-known, crowd pleasers were in the first half with the newer and more experimental stuff in the end (more on this in a bit). One great highlight was "Cherub Rock" straight into the opening riff from "Zero."

From reports the evening was a decidedly mellower choosing than the previous evening, featuring the more melodic side of the band with softer tracks like "Disarm" and the fantastic Stevie Nicks cover "Landslide." If this were just an hour and a half or so set it would have been a great, well-rounded set. However, just past the halfway point the band went from the rock roots and hits that their foundation was built upon into a proggy, almost Rush-like direction with the 20-min jam fest called "Gossamer." From here the band lost most of what connection they had with the crowd.

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Before closing Billy had this to say, "I have been pissing people off for 20 years now and I have proven I am no ones bitch... Don't give up on us now, we still have a lot of music left in us." Maybe a sense of awareness as to his fans growing resentment for the band, or this version of the band perhaps, regardless it may have been one of the only compassionate moments he has had on this tour. Judging from the sold-out Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles at least maybe willing to give you another chance Billy.

SETLIST
Ava Adore//Cupid de Locke"//"1979″//"99 Floors"//"Owata"//"Sunkissed"//"Soma"//"Cherub Rock"//"Zero"//"Bodies"//"Crestfallen"//"I of the Mourning"//"Song For A Son"//"Landslide"//"Disarm"//"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness"//"Galapagos"//"Gossamer"//"As Rome Burns"//"The Sound Of Silence"//"Little Red Riding Hood"//"The March Hare"//"Suffer"//"The March Hare (Reprise)" ENCORE: "Age of Innocence"//"That's The Way (My Love Is)"//"I Am One, Part 2″