SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman BILLY CORGAN brought his father on stage at the band’s penultimate gig last night in their native CHICAGO, for an emotional performance which had drawn fans from as far afield as NEW ZEALAND, TOKYO, KOREA and EUROPE.
Bill Corgan Snr, who also made an appearance on stage at a gig in Chicago in April, joined them on ‘For Martha’ during one of three encores in the set, which lasted almost three hours at the city’s United Center.
Corgan paused halfway through the set, to say: “I’d like to thank everyone for coming tonight. It’s been a great, crazy 13 years. I think that the most important thing at the end of the day is that we love you.”
Although there was clearly a lot of joy and admiration in the stadium, the fans mirrored Corgan’s emotional state. Chicago fan Malina Ravizza admitted after the show: “I cried. Everybody was looking at me like I was a big ass. But when they played ‘1979’. It’s like you don’t understand. This is the end. And people were looking at me like I was a circus freak.”
Dan Binder, of Illinois, said: “I have a lot of respect for them going out, maybe not while they’re on top, but at least while they’re still making good music.”
The set included a semi-acoustic version of ‘Today’, a seething ‘Disarm’ and ‘Cherub Rock’ – which rattled the stadium. Other highlights were a delicate rendition of ‘Stand Inside Your Love’, followed by ‘The Everlasting Gaze’ and ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’.
The Chicago Tribune reported that fans queued for four hours before the show, and had travelled from all over the world. One had paid $850 for a ticket, while others had made the trek from the Tokyo, Korea, New Zealand, Holland and Italy.
Earlier in the evening on local radio station WKQX, Corgan had unveiled a new song from the studio, simply introduced as ‘Untitled’.
The band, who have been undertaking six-hour practise sessions this week, perform their final show on Saturday (December 2) at the 1,100-capacity Chicago Metro.