This was my first visit to the First Bank Amphitheater located just south of music city. The venue tucked away in a rock quarry type setting. The hike into the venue was paved and features luxurious foliage and a glorious rock wall. The three band bill featured The Rival Sons with their soulful, bluesy sound, rock ‘n’ roll in its truest form. The New York based band Interpol would welcome nightfall. Interpol’s dark and mysterious vibe would embark the audience at First Bank for what was to come, The Smashing Pumpkins.
The Pumpkins would overwhelm the stage on this cool late summer night with The Everlasting Gaze, forever waiting on the way. The power, the tone,4,3,2,1 Bam! DoomsDay Clock! The band wasted little time mixing in their newer music along with some classics right from the get go. This show & tour as a whole is really Once In A Lifetime. You may ask yourself, where is my beautiful house? You may find yourself in a Siamese Dream? This Talking Heads cover really features how heavy the Pumpkins can be with Billy Corgan growling out the questions you may not know the answers to, However for this moment in time we are living for Today..For the hardcore Smashing Pumpkin fans it was Perfect. As a core artist from the 1990’s we often get a chance to look back and reflect on the power of songs from days gone by. Inside of me and such a part of you, yeah, the years burn and often they are hard to Disarm.
As the Pumpkins continue to showcase their vast musical catalog spanning over 30+ years spotlighting deeper cuts like The Celestials that gave us reasons to believe, never let the summer catch you down, Purple Blood to move you along into the sky, fever by your side.
Billy and James would take the stage together and perform one of the band's many hits as an acoustic rendition that once again displayed not only Billy Corgan’s artistry but the band's ability to paint the indescribable moments of life. The time,the belief,the hope that things will change, the small pieces we lost,the youth we can’t retain, the parts we’ve gained. Somewhere here, we all believe in something, we believe in Tonight,Tonight.
The World is a Vampire tour would crescendo with Bullet With Butterfly Wings. The wave of sound the Smashing Pumpkins displayed throughout the show was Spellbinding as they navigated the setlist with another cover featuring Manford Mann’s Toil and Trouble. A haunting version from a 1960’s harmonic hip shaker. The Hubble Bubble gives way to the nowhere jar of the JellyBelly, with nothing but memories. The Empires we need not worry about The Hummer or the Beguiled. Renewed and revived, we shake down to 1979. We thought we had all the time.
As the evening gave way, band introductions were preceded by a short snippet of Def Leppard's Photograph. The finale was set, the audience was roaring. Billy Corgan shared a short story about how they have always been hipsters even 35 years ago as he recalled the band's first show in Nashville. He said “I think we played in front of only a few hundred people”. He thanks the capacity crowd for their support over the years. The Cherub Rock would commence as an incredible night drew to a close.. The Smashing Pumpkins would play 21 songs in total and left it all on the stage. The Gish was empty, no Mayonnaise on the bread,a Zero at the end.
By Ryan Hillier
In memory of Andrea Wolf