I had not seen the Smashing Pumpkins since the first time I saw them back in 2000 for free not long before they broke up. After one side project (Zwan), one Billy Corgan solo album (TheFutureEmbrace) and seven years Billy wanted his old band back. The only original member he brought back into the fold was drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and the reunion resulted in the album Zeitgeist that was released less than two months before this show. This was my first concert at the Open Air Theatre at SDSU, a nifty little concrete amphitheater built outside the library on campus.
Shortly after Donna and I arrived Macy’s best friend Esther spotted me, started running towards me from about 20 feet away and jumped into the air, making me catch her. The collective feeling of “what the fuck” from Esther’s husband Carlos, Donna and myself was palpable (Carlos and Esther’s marriage would sadly last less than a year). After that awkward exchange Donna and I found our way to the great seats we had in the lower section of the venue. As per my M O, I sparked up a joint as soon as Smashing Pumpkins hit the stage and as per unspoken rules I puff puff gave the joint to Donna. The problem with having good seats closer to the stage is that you are also closer to multiple security personnel. I apparently had not accounted for all of the security and was immediately caught as the handoff was occurring. Donna was trying to play it cool when the security guard had his flashlight in her face denying that she had anything. After what seemed like an eternity I convinced her to hand it over knowing that if his intention was to kick us out we would already be walking. At least SOMEONE got to smoke the joint that night…
The Pumpkins were good but to be fair I had seen them in what is essentially a bar prior to this and I never really got into Zeitgeist like I had all the previous material. “Tarantula” seemed to be the song that the band was most in sync with each other on so that was quite enjoyable when they all locked into the groove. All in all Billy Corgan is a badass and I will always remember the ONE time I got busted with my joint.
SETLIST: Superchrist, Doomsday Clock, Hummer, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Drown, Bring the Light, That’s the Way (My Love Is), Tonight, Tonight, Tarantula, Glass and the Ghost Children, 1979, To Sheila, United States, Today, Ava Adore, Starla, Heavy Metal Machine/White Rabbit/On the Road Again, Silverfuck/The End, Muzzle