Friday, October 21, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins Concert and a New Tutorial

When I was a little girl of about 12, Smashing Pumpkins was my favorite band. I could listen to Siamese Dream over and over again without ever getting tired of it (although I'm sure my dad didn't feel the same way.) When Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness came out, Smashing Pumpkins came on tour through Denver (where I lived then.) I begged and begged my dad to take me, but he wouldn't. I think I'm permanently scarred by that.

I've never had a chance to see them...until last Monday. I bought the tickets from a third party since the concert was sold out. They held the concert in a venue that only held approximately 800 standing people.

Smashing Pumpkins is still my favorite band all these years later. I'm 29 now, so that's quite a long time to have the same favorite band.

The first opening band was Light FM, from LA. They weren't bad and I'll probably check them out further when I get the chance.

The second opening band, though was absolutely wretched. They were The Fancy Space People. They came out in bizarre, silver costumes and put on a show that kind of reminded me of Gwar. It's not that their music was like Gwar's, they just had this theatrical aspect where they were aliens saving the Earth. I think; I couldn't understand most of their lyrics or their spoken words. There were a bunch of them, too. At least eight people on stage. The whole audience was completely indifferent to the band and since I was up on the balcony, I could see a good portion of the crowd was on Facebook while The Fancy Space people played. Mercifully, they finally ended their show and announced that Smashing Pumpkins would be up next.

I figured Billy Corgan would make quite the entrance, but he merely sauntered on stage and grabbed his guitar. What struck me initially was just how huge Billy was. I knew he was a big guy, but it's a little different seeing him compared to the rest of his band. He also had that hunched over walk that many tall people have. When walking around the stage, he rarely looked up, but when taking the mic, he stood up straight and played to his audience.

And boy, did he play. My understanding is that most lead singers play rhythm guitar since it's hard to sing and play at the same time. Billy played lead guitar, though, and I've never seen anyone play quite like Billy. He played the guitar as easily as a person breathes. My friend I took with me said it was like Billy was making love to his guitar.

Another thing I noticed was Billy's charisma. You can't take your eyes off of him when he's on the stage. The other band members seemed to understand this and stood back to allow the audience to focus on Billy. It was obvious that Billy thrives off the crowd's energy. A few times, he simply stood, Christlike, with his arms out, absorbing the crowd's excitement and adoration.

Their set list (which I didn't write down and have completely forgotten, was definitely for the serious fan. A lot of it was obscure and had never been played on the radio. Being the crazed fan I am, I knew most of the songs. They played Muzzle, which is a favorite of mine, as well as Ruby (both being from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.) They played Starla from Pisces Iscariot. During their encore, they played Bullet With Butterfly Wings, which is a crowd pleaser. The entire crowd went nuts as soon as the first notes played.

You know the true measure of a band when they're playing live. On cd or mp3, Smashing Pumpkins is good; live they're absolutely amazing.

I feel like I'm completing a lot of my bucket list. I saw the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, UK in 2009, which I'd been wanting to see since I was about 14 or 15. Now I've seen Smashing Pumpkins. I guess I need to find another dream to work on.

I did a tutorial for concert hair. I ended up just wearing two french braids. I guess it made me look a lot younger because my Driver's License was scrutinized carefully. Anyway, the tutorial is still up and I think it's a fun style.

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