Not many tours this year had the hype of the Smashing Pumpkins Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour, it was an "all the stars aligning" kinda thing. Being their 30th Anniversary this year, and reunited with the original guitarist James Iha, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain it was definitely something for the 90's diehards, and Pumpkins fans to see. Billy Corgan had a vision, and brought it to life with this tour, the problem was doing an elaborate stage production, they'd have to play arenas, and could they fill arenas all over the country? The answer is, NO. Obviously, bigger cities like L.A., NYC, and their hometown Chicago had no problem selling tickets, but places like Omaha would end up being a struggle, and it showed on Monday night with the upper bowl blacked out with curtains.
The setlist (listed below) was close to perfect. Thirtyish songs featuring hits, b-sides, covers. It was clear this was a list carefully conceived by Billy, and the band to please all Pumpkins fans. Something for everybody! As far as stage production goes, it was one of the finest visual productions I've ever seen. It intensified the feeling of every song, constantly changing to fit the mood of every moment. It was quite impressive, and the fact I didn't notice any malfunctions was pretty amazing as well, especially for a band that isn't doing this every single tour.
The sound in the arena was perfect, which hasn't always been the case at the Century Link Center. Three guitars going almost the entire time, and Jimmy's relentless beating of the drums needed perfection, and they achieved it. Billy Corgan's vocals also met the high standard I expected. Especially on Bowie's "Space Oddity" and Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven" YOU CAN'T MESS THOSE SONGS UP, and get away with it. The performances were spot on, and as announced by James Iha following "Stairway..." "You can cross that one off your bucket list!"
Whatever your SP jam is, you more than likely got to hear it. "Zero" featured James Iha using a drill on his guitar pickup to imitate the sound on the recording, and one of my personal favorites "Hummer" just sounded larger than life. So many great concert moments, and the Arena, maybe half full. That might have been one of the biggest surprises to me. That, and there was a lotta drankin' in their for Monday! Every dude around me was f'd up, and just havin' the time of their lives. When I was leaving there was a dude standing in a pile of liquor with blood gushing from his leg. AND not once, but twice James Iha addressed the crowd to make sure everyone was alright after fights broke out. Billy and James later joked that that hadn't happened anywhere else on tour. Not NYC, or Chicago, but in Omaha! So now Omaha is the angry place! All around it was just a damn good experience. Yeah, it was long with 3 plus hours of music, and yeah they could have shortened it up a half hour or so, but this was something that Omaha might not ever get the chance to experience again. So if you made it out to the show, good call man!
I give the show a solid 8 out 10. Shorten the set to 2 hours, and play more Gish, and this could have been a Top 5 show. But as is, still in my Top 20, and the second best for me this year. Jack White still best of the year. More goodies from the show below...
My next review will be.....Metallica September 6th in Lincoln. We gotta first timer here! Should be interesting to see where this one stacks up! -RYAN
This statue was being toted around by some monks during the Pumpkins performance of "Stairway to Heaven"
More pictures from the Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour