NME.COM

Corgan Returns

The ex-Smashing Pumpkins frontman introduces Zwan to the world...

Former Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan made his return to the stage on Friday night (November 16) in California fronting new band Zwan.

The outfit which features Matt Sweeney on guitar, Skullfisher on bass, Pumkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and Corgan as frontman premiered 13 new songs and one Beatles cover during their hour and a half long debut at the Glass House in Pomona, a city about 40 miles outside of Los Angeles.

Hundreds of fans turned up to the sold out gig early, lining the street by the venue and down the block, and causing a police presence. Though the show was originally scheduled to start at 8.30 PM, the set by opening band Wagner, was delayed by half an hour to allow time for the estimated 700 patrons to fill the venue.

Corgan arrived on stage shortly after 10, dressed in a smart white shirt and black trousers. Like Courtney Love's debut mere weeks ago, Zwan's first song, 'Chrysanthemum' with its loud and boisterious attitude hinted the band was heading in a punk-inspired direction.

The group later displayed their versatility offering alt rock ballads on
'Glorius' and 'Sorrow', soulful leanings on 'Jesus I' and a light reggae tinge on 'The Shining Path'. Many fans told NME.COM they thought most of the songs sounded very similar to Smashing Pumpkins.

Throughout the performance, Corgan seemed nervous, continually tuning his guitar before each song. Though his audience interaction was limited to a few words of thanks, Corgan seemed pleased to be back on stage, often smiling broadly after rapturous cheers from the audience.

"It was really good," said Claudia from West Covina. "I didn't know what to expect because his work has been so broad. It was more upbeat than the Smashing Pumpkins."

Lance, from Chicago, concurred. "This was a more mature Billy and company. The guitar is almost better than James Iha. The crowd was confused because they didn't know what to expect."

Zwan continue their live debuts tonight (November 18) Sunday in Santa Ana, California.

The full set list was:
'Chrysanthemum'
'Permanence'
'El Sol'
'The Empty Sea'
'Glorius'
'Cast A Stone'
'Don't Let Me Down'
'Jesus I'
'The Shining Path'
'What Have They Done to Me'
'Sorrow'
'My Life & Times'

Encore:
'And So I Died of A Broken Heart'

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