Smashing Pumpkins ticket in hand for Halloween at the Barclay Center show! Frankly, I’m tickled.
I know, I know: they’re not the same Pumpkins. Call me naive, but that’s a good thing. Corgan, like the best of narcissists, could use some underdog status, and right now he’s got it.
The current line-up, which includes wunderkind Mikey Byrne, the very nice Nicole Fiorentino on bass, and Jeff “Shredder” Schroeder, can flat out play. It feels like a band, unlike the 2007-2008 iteration that spawned the rightfully-panned Zeitgeist, which saw Corgan coming to terms with his failures in the ugliest of fashions.
But since announcing his absurd 44 song-cycle Teargarden by Kaleidescope project, Corgan appears to have regained his Occult mojo. The Songs for a Sailor EP, Vol I (of XI?) of the Teargarden cycle, was a pleasant surprise, with the title track and “Astral Planes” retaining the spirit of the band that recorded Mellon Collie while exploring new territory. Even the cover design looks like something out of “Magic: The Gathering.”
The momentum’s continued with the excellent Oceania, the first LP since Corgan’s 2008 announcement the band would no longer record any such thing.
Against all odds, Corgan & company seem to be in a fertile creative period. The Halloween show (and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see on Halloween) should be a celebration, then, of the true resurrection of the band, not as nostalgia reunion shtick, but an actual creative force worth paying attention to. I plan to enjoy while it lasts and keep my fingers crossed they bring the pain on non-album tracks As Rome Burns.