Tearful Corgan calls time on Pumpkins at emotional Chicago show...

SMASHING PUMPKINS said their final

farewell at the 1,100-capacity CHICAGO

METRO club last night (December 2).

Some fans had kept vigil for up to two days in

freezing temperatures outside the venue where supports

with bands such as Jane’s Addiction

had helped secure their place as one of

America’s most popular international

rock acts.

The show which marked the end of their 13-year

career lasted four hours, drawing from their back

catalogue. They were joined on stage by Cheap

Trick’s Rick Nielsen and

Billy Corgan’s father, Bill

Snr, who had appeared alongside them at their

show Chicago on Thursday last week.

He sang a cover of blues standard ‘Born Under

A Bad Sign’. Former Pumpkins

drummer Matt Walker also joined them

onstage, while Jimmy Chamberlain

switched to acoustic guitar. There was no sign of

ex-bassist D’Arcy Wretzky, who left

the band earlier this year to be replaced by

Melissa Auf der Maur.

‘It was a great, warm atmosphere,’ said fan

Laura Frankowski of nearby

Lombard, Illinois, who first saw the

band at Metro in 1988. ‘All the

people in the crowd either stood in line for 20 hours

(when general admission tickets went on sale in

October) or paid an arm and a leg to buy tickets, so

the atmosphere was great. It’s definitely something

I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.’

During the day, fans without tickets gathered from

near and far (Argentina, Toronto and

California were among the places

represented). Few, if any, got lucky. A pair of

tickets that turned out to be counterfeit went for

$800 to two Canadian fans, who at least got their

money back from the scalper with help from the local

police. A security guard reported seeing at least a

dozen fake tickets in the hands of disappointed fans.

Real tickets reportedly had a price tag of up to

$4,300, more than 100 times the original $35 price.

‘I saw a kid get caught with a counterfeit ticket.

They used a black light at the door to check it. He

paid $175 for it,’ said hopeful fan Grace

Lally, who waited outside the venue during

the Pumpkins’ set after failing to

find a willing ticket seller. ‘They just laughed me

away. They were asking $4,000 a piece. If I had a

ticket, I wouldn’t have sold it.’

Back inside on the Metro’s stage,

the end was close at hand and the hard-driving band

appeared more at ease than ever.

‘They had a lot of fun,’ Liz

Gilbert of Downers Grove,

Ill., said after the show. “They’d laugh and

crack a lot of jokes. It was much more laid back than

other shows.”