Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, SPIN magazine -- along with American Express's new ZYNC card, which brings together the financial control and core benefits of an American Express Charge Card, with the added flexibility to select bundles of rewards and benefits called "Packs" that are tailored to specific lifestyle interests and spending habits in categories such as music, fashion, food, travel and more -- decided to make it a week-long party. For night number 1, the music mag recruited Billy Corgan and his newly assembled Smashing Pumpkins to stir the crowd thronging Terminal 5's three levels.
As this is the season for a '90s revival, with many other superstars from the era reforming to play again in their old-time glory, waiting in the dark hush for the Smashing Pumpkins to take the stage on a summer night in 2010 didn't seem exceedingly strange. The stage glittered with blinding spotlights and large mosaic flowers as Billy, in a trippy patterned shirt, walked out to great adulation from the old fans as well as the new. To make up for the lack of original lineup, the band jammed for two hours, rolling out old favorites by the handfuls (no one was as interested in the newer material). "Today" was followed with the touchingly beautiful "Eye" ("Tonight, Tonight" was played further along in the night).
Getting it out of the way early, Billy and the gang ripped through "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" to the delight of the crowd mouthing every word -- and who hasn't gleefully sung along to "the world is a vampire"? Playing his guitar for all he -- and it -- were worth (at one point teeth were involved), Billy ran solo for a time, dueted with his lead guitarist (Jeff Schroeder), and wowed the crowd with such favorites as "Ava Adore" and "A Song for a Son." Though there could've been less of the guitar solos and duets, "Gossamer" the set closer during the two-song encore went on for ten minutes; a little self-indulgent at the tail-end of a very long night. Not that anyone complained. If a band has the showmanship and flare to keep the interest of a few thousand people in a crowded space for a ten minute musical fantasy, some self-indulgence should be expected. Good for you, Billy Corgan.