August 16, 2012

And my review of the Smashing Pumpkins gig in a flooded, monsoon heavy Manila.

Music review: Deep waters, sonic glory, and The Smashing Pumpkins

BY KARL R. DE MESA August 15, 2012 7:41pm

Billy’s plectrum. Note the analog zero. And the bouncer almost stepped on it.

“You know I’m not dead!” Billy Corgan, lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins, famously crooned in “The Everlasting Gaze” off 2000’s Machina LP.
If you were among the lucky ones who made it to The Smashing Pumpkins’ August 8 show, through wet hell and high water, you witnessed three hours of Corgan proving he’s well and truly still among the quick.
The deluge-with-no-name that plunged the city into the deep floods, displaced thousands, and stranded even more, had already delayed the concert by one day. Corgan and the band had decided that enough was enough, and urged the local organizer to assist him in postponing their gig.
Corgan said, in a tweet he posted at 3:16PM of August 7, notably earlier than the Araneta website or the organizer’s: “The safety of our fans is ALWAYS a huge priority. With 24 long hours delay our 1st Manila show will be at same arena, same time tomorrow!!”
To which bassist Nicole Fiorentino later added, “Manila, I am thrilled that we get to play tomorrow night. My heart was breaking thinking we were leaving here without rocking out for you!”
By postponing the concert, they had bumped off the UAAP games indefinitely–albeit classes were already suspended on all levels. Though the skies did clear up for a bit the next day, many fans still couldn’t make it to the SMART Araneta Coliseum with parts of the metro still flooded. Chatting with fellow fans before the show, I found out a significant number had to wade through flood waters or ride makeshift boats (made of refrigerators and coffins!), to get to the venue.
If you did make it though, it was an event that fulfilled Pumpkin dreams long-time coming. It was a  hard road to travel, in the same vein as Corgan’s spiritual journey where he declares that he values the voyage rather than the monetary gain at the end.
The Smashing Pumpkins, you see, is one of the greatest bands to come out of the alternative rock soup of the 1990s. Formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988, they burst into the scene with a vastly different sound from their punk-worshiping contemporaries, incorporating elements of shoegaze, metal, post-punk, psychedelic rock and folding them into a guitar-driven, quiet/loud gestalt. The result was not only technically impressive but also extremely popular.

In 2004, we started dating by bonding through SP. In 2012, our Pumpkins romance reaches its zenith.

They haven’t stopped since, garnering Grammy awards and a laundry list of hit albums. Tonight’s show is in support of their 2012 LP Oceania, a record themed with aquatic imagery and diving into the abyss. How apt that, of all things, it is this album that found everyone braving the floods and rain.

Lordy, was she hypnotically gorgeous. (by Ike Sulat)

When we filed into the patron area a little before 7 p.m., the line was long and snaking at the red gate. Waiting with cramped legs, we heard that the band was live tweeting their preparations, including bass player Fiorentino, who wanted to know which dress she should wear for tonight’s show.
Read the rest HERE.

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