Pumpkins Play Surprise Show In Chicago

June 25, 1997 12:00 AM ET

On the hottest day of the year, in the coolest city in the country, the biggest band in the world played a surprise show. Posing as the Audio Vanguard Association, the Smashing Pumpkins sold out the 500-person capacity Double Door in Chicago in no time.

They hit the stage at exactly 10:15 p.m. and before they ended an hour and a half later, they blew the roof off the tiny venue in Wicker Park, Chicago's hippest 'hood. The Pumpkins pulled out obvious tunes like "Zero," "1979" and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings." But when Billy Corgan sang the line "and embers never fade in your city by the lake, the place where you were born," from "Tonight, Tonight," not only did the crowd erupt with excitement knowing Corgan was singing about Chicago, but the singer himself was beaming with smiles.

At many points during the night, the crowd thrashed so hard to D'arcy's bass and James Iha's guitar that the floor literally bounced and shook, while members of Filter, the Frogs, Cupcake and even Pearl Jam looked on. And the band's newest member, drummer Matt Walker, proved his ability to keep up with the power rock of the already solid trio.

The Smashing Pumpkins used this opportunity to rehearse before flying to Europe to headline a slew of festivals, including Glastonbury later this week. Who knows if when they return whether or not they'll surprise Chicago again, but we all know that with that band, anything's possible.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

More Song Stories entries »