The Billy Corgan rock & roll experience rolled into San Francisco last night, the bald wonder showcasing his Zwan outfit for the first time in the City By The Bay. I had heard that live, with the three guitarists, it was a sight to behold, buzzsaw guitars heading off in every direction, swarming in and out of the consciousness. So, of course, I had to check it out for myself, at the very same Warfield Theater in which I had seen The Pumpkins nine years prior.
Difference number one between last night's show and the Pete Yorn gig the night prior was the volume level. The Zwan kids were easily twice as loud as the acoustic-led strumming of Monday night, but that wasn't a bad thing. The extra volume allowed for the interplay between the three axemen, although that wasn't always such a good thing. The tracks that were more song-oriented, "Honestly," "Lyric" and "Jesus, I" were stellar, the omnipresent guitar lines adding extra depth but at times it got more noodly than The Spaghetti Factory. Rhythm section tightness was ever-present, with the terry cloth dolphin-shorted Paz laying down the bottom end and Jimmy Chamberlain effortlessly slaying peeps on the drums. I was amazed, time and time again, at Jimmy's skills behind the kit. He looked like he was barely moving, but the sounds being emitted through the PA proved that was far from the case, as a virtual drumline's worth of percussion was being laid down by this one man. Amazing. He's perhaps the greatest rock drummer of his age and it's no wonder that Billy drags him from act to act. Billy knows talent when he sees it, just like when he looks in the mirror.