November 4, 2012

Smashing Pumpkins - The Roy Wilkins Auditorium - 10.20.12

The last time I saw the Smashing Pumpkins was in 1994 at Lollapalooza on Harriet Island. Coming off their release of Siamese Dream the year before, they were at their peak. Seeing that show was one of the biggest pieces cementing my interest in seeing live music.

Fast forward to 2012. I get the call to shoot Smashing Pumpkins for Jam Magazine at The Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Knowing it couldn't hold a flame to the show I saw in 1994, I accepted with low expectations. But any chance to shoot a band whose old music still means something to me, I could not pass up.

The press pass situation for this show was like none other I've experienced. Typically you are allowed to shoot the first 3 songs or first 15 minutes. And unless it's a small club there is usually a photo pit from which to shoot from. There was a pit at this show (and a quite large one at that), but the photographers were not allowed in it at all. The show had to be shot from the general admission audience. The trade off was that we were able to shoot the entire show.
This should be interesting.

Thanks to a small mosh pit (against security's wishes), I was moved fairly close and was able to get a decent spot. The first half they played their new album, Oceania in it's entirety. It was mediocre at best. The second half, much to the crowd's delight, they visited some of their old hits, however left out some of the staples you'd expect to hear. Every time they'd get remotely close to taking you back to a taste of the 1994 magic, they'd play something out of left field. Like encoring with a cover of KISS's "Black Diamond". What?

All in all, it was a fine show. Good to hear a few of those old tunes and a fun experience to shoot a show amongst the masses. I'd do it again.