Museum of the Moving Image Spectacle is a new exhibit at The Museum of the…
- Posted on Jul 7th 2010 10:00AM by Justin Jacobs
Without a word, the band unassumingly launched into 'Astral Planes,' a twisting new jam from Corgan's proposed 44-song project, 'Teargarden by Kaleidyscope.' It wasn't likely a track most of the crowd wished for, but Corgan, drummer Mike Byrne, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and guitarist Jeff Schroeder tore through it with as much or even more vigor as any Pumpkins classic.
The first release from 'Kaleidyscope,' 'A Song for a Son,' picked up like a classic rock epic, starting slow and simple, adding instruments and volume as the song marched along before breaking into a triumphant gallop. Though much of the crowd was unfamiliar, the new Pumpkins were convincing: Byrne played throughout with the precision and power of an amped-up marching band snare expert, and he locked in with Corgan's rhythmic, churning guitar. Even while Fiorentino and Schroeder stood off to the side seemingly disinterested in stage dramatics, they nailed the Pumpkins' trademark urgent crunch.
But the first bona fide classic of the set, 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings,' seemed almost tossed off. 'Disarm' and '1979' were also sped up, taking away much of their delicate intricacies.
Though the tactic was a bit frustrating, it's hard to blame Corgan. He's been long trying to outgrow the shadow of his legendary '90s work, and his most recent batch of songs is his best in years. It made sense to focus on the new, especially with a fresh band at hand.
The show wasn't all tactics, though. After a shy start, Corgan made it clear he wanted to have some fun. "Baby, you take your shirt off and I'll take mine off," Corgan joked to a fan calling to see a new side of the alt-hero. He even revealed a sense of humor about a notoriously serious topic: his band.
"This song is about corporate rock," Corgan said to a hushed crowd before launching 'Cherub Rock.' "What, no cheers for corporate rock? Look at all the great music it's given you in the past 15 years. Corporate rock isn't something you'd know about, Mikey."
Corgan might just be right about his new drummer -- he's still not of legal drinking age.
What set closer 'Tonight, Tonight' lacked in strings, the Pumpkins made up for with furiously strummed guitars -- and united the new and old more successfully than prior tunes. To truly get beyond the past, Corgan and his Pumpkins need to embrace it and look forward with equal pride.
As the band's summer tour winds through the country this month, Cleveland's show exposed a promising new band playing its decades-old classics -- nothing weird about that.