Billy Corgan Is Pissing People Off





Billy Corgan has been giving new meaning to the term "audience participation" on the Smashing Pumpkins' 20th anniversary tour, which kicked off November 1 in Cleveland and has been leaving a mess of disappointed, confused fans in its wake.


During the first show of a two-night stop in New York last week at the United Palace (the first called "Black Sunshine" and the second, "White Crosses"), Corgan mocked audience members who were leaving early during "Everything is Beautiful." During the second show, Corgan invited a fan onto the stage to share his thoughts on the previous night. The fan told him that the show had sucked, and as he walked back to his seat, Corgan shouted "By the way, I liked that song you wrote. What was it called? 'Take Your Dick Out of My Ass and Stick It in My Mouth?' That was a big hit in Europe."

Billy Corgan discussing set list with fan at United Palace



Beyond the grade-school name calling, the sets also featured heavily tracks from the 2007 (revamped) Smashing Pumpkins album Zeitgeist, which was understandably disappointing for fans who came to hear a more balanced career sampling of the band, and last night's show in Washington, D.C. was no different.

Smashing Pumpkins fan blog Hipsters United reported that a fan who'd been annoyed during the band's set closer -- a cover of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" -- flipped the double bird to Corgan. Never one to walk away from a fight, it seems, Corgan engaged the fan from the stage, which prompted the fan to yell that the band no longer rocks. He also questioned the absence of guitarist James Iha, at which point Corgan invited a female fan on stage, referred to her as "James Iha" and asked her what she was doing since having left the band.

Corgan and The Pumpkins "explaining" their set list motives in D.C.



The band's second show ("White Crosses") will go on tonight at D.C.'s Constitution Hall, and it would be impossible to predict what Corgan might pull out of his hat next. Tripwire correspondent Michael Cranston was in attendance for the Pumpkins' two-night stop in Toronto, the second city of the tour.

"Billy Corgan has, and will always be a brazen rock star. His career moves will continually give the middle finger to anyone who expects something particular of him. If you want A, he's going to give you B. He'll reunite the Smashing Pumpkins but leave out half of the original members. He'll claim Zeitgeist will capture the Pumpkins old versatility but release eleven tracks of overdub guitar uniformity. He'll go on tour to supposedly showcase the bands' two decades, but the set list will focus on the past two weeks of Corgan's musical ephemera: Zeitgeist b-sides and unreleased tracks.

So with a jaded mind frame, I entered Toronto's Massey Hall for the Smashing Pumpkins two-night stand. Opening with new tracks and the Pumpkins corporate-rock track "G.L.O.W.", the first song ever recorded exclusively for "Rock Band," it was abundantly clear this was no greatest hits show. Sure, "Today," "Bullet," and "Tonight, Tonight" made their appearances, but these shows are not for the Pumpkins fan wanting a quick trip of 90s nostalgia. "We have to challenge you," Billy Corgan announced at the end of night one, in reference to the set list. "And I know some of you might be disappointed."

The set ended with a 20-minute distorted, monotonous rendition of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," not unlike the monotony experienced during Friday afternoon downtown traffic. The show ended with an aggravated Corgan sarcastically making comments about patrons leaving the show early. Night two was better, as classic Pumpkins were played in lieu of Zeitgeist tracks -- "Ava Adore," "1979," "Cherub Rock," "Zero" and "Disarm" -- but not that much better."

The Smashing Pumpkins
MySpace

Posted:
Billy Corgan Is Pissing People Off