The SMASHING PUMPKINS played their last ever UK shows at the LONDON WEMBLEY ARENA over the weekend (November 3-4), leaving many fans disillusioned at their refusal to play a greatest hits set as a final farewell.
On the first night (November 3), the band started their set with a mainly acoustic first hour. Vocalist Billy Corgan took to the stage dressed in an all-white smock, while the band performed acoustic versions of tracks taken from their ten-year career.
Corgan then changed into all black, and led the band through heavy metal versions of newer songs, including ‘1979’ and ‘Tonight Tonight’ from ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’, as well material from their recent album ‘MACHINA/The Machines Of God’.
The band, their sound boosted by the addition of an extra keyboardist, made little attempt to communicate with the audience, the only exception being when Corgan thanked fans for coming to the show, and to joke that the band’s final studio album will be called ‘Temples Of Ulysses’.
Speaking outside the venue following the show, many fans were left bemused by the band’s decision not to play a greatest hits set at their final gigs. One fan told NME.COM: “I’ve seen many major, great gigs in my life and this is certainly the worst. I should have been doing something else. It was awful, it was torture.”
Another added: “I think he should have started playing all-out rock, but he didn’t, he played mellow crap.”
When fans were asked if they would miss the Smashing Pumpkins, one replied: “I would have missed them five years ago but now I’m glad they’re splitting up…he changed his outfit like Steps!”
However, a number of hardcore of fans remained loyal to the end. One said: “It was the best show I have even been to out of about ten Pumpkins shows. I think Billy Corgan had a really good connection with the crowd and everyone was really up for it. Because it was the last show many people will see, he was really feeding the energy…he’s well pompous, but he deserves to be, he’s a God.”
For a full video report from the last ever Smashing Pumpkins UK shows, click on which of the following is compatible for your PC:
The Smashing Pumpkins now take their tour to South Africa before playing their last gigs ever at two hometown shows in Chicago, at the United Centre Arena (November 29) and Metro club (December 2).