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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.

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