Smashing Pumpkins 2/5/00

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I was really excited to see the Smashing Pumpkins because I had liked them pretty much since learning of them after Siamese Dream came out. I also don’t remember really getting another chance to see them after I missed out on Lollapalooza 1994. This show was a weird free concert thrown by the radio station KUFO. The protocol was to show up at Music Millennium in uptown Portland earlier in the week to receive a bracelet that you would in turn have to wear for the next few days to get you into the concert. I believe they ended up changing some of the details but ultimately me and Ross got in and the show was held at Berbati’s Pan, which is a very small venue. It’s more like a bar than a proper place to see a band of magnitude like the Smashing Pumpkins. They were still about a month away from releasing the MACHINA/The Machines of God album but I think they may have played a song or two from it. The original band was intact with the exception of D’arcy Wretzky who was replaced by Melissa Auf der Maur for bass duties. Billy Corgan looked genuinely happy and had a very distinct way of rocking his body when he played guitar. The whole thing was very informal and I actually was able to go up to him and shake his hand after the performance was over. I said ”thanks for rocking” and he winked at me! It was a little weird but I’ll take it. The other really memorable thing was that the sticker you see was actually affixed to a bald cap wig in honor of Billy’s shaved head. Many people were wearing them, which looked pretty funny on a crowd as a whole.

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