December 11th, 2012 1:47pm

Make The Loss Seem New

The Smashing Pumpkins @ Barclays Center 12/10/2012
Quasar / Panopticon / The Celestials / Violet Rays / My Love Is Winter / One Diamond, One Heart / Pinwheels / Oceania / Pale Horse / The Chimera / Glissandra / Inkless / Wildflower / Space Oddity / X.Y.U. / Disarm / Tonight, Tonight / Bullet With Butterfly Wings / The Dream Machine / Hummer // Ava Adore / Cherub Rock / Zero

The Smashing Pumpkins “Pinwheels”

This was a wonderful show from start to finish, though I do think it might have been a better idea to jumble up the running of Oceania. I appreciate the integrity and conviction behind playing the new album in its entirety, but I think that in pretty much any case, it’s less fun to see an album sequence performed on stage. The internal logic of a concert setlist and an album are very different, and there were times when the momentum wasn’t right or it might have been a good idea to toss out a hit to keep the more impatient audience members interested. But aside from that, the Oceania material came off very well, most especially “Pinwheels,” which opened up a lot on stage and showed off the particular dynamic of Corgan’s current lineup of musicians.

I won’t lie to you, though: The most exciting part of this show was the second half, with all of the old hits. “X.Y.U.” was the highlight of the night – twice as maniacal and over-the-top as the album version, and with a creepy extended instrumental section in the middle. “Hummer” was exceptional too, with its optimism sounding even more triumphant in the arena setting. I was most surprised by my response to “Tonight, Tonight.” I often skip that song when I listen to Mellon Collie, but in concert it’s just sort of undeniable, and you realize that its sentiment is the key to understanding what Corgan has been trying to do with his music for all these years. It’s a song that blasts cynicism, and rejects the notion that any creative ambition is too crazy to be considered. I can think of a bunch of times recently when I was talking to someone who was really down on themselves, and I had to fight myself not to tell them “life can change, you’re not stuck in vain” because it’s corny to quote a Smashing Pumpkins song to someone who is genuinely distraught. But man, that line is so true. That whole song is so true.

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