The Smashing Pumpkins premiered music from their forthcoming album, Adore, to a sold out crowd at Chicago's Metro on Saturday night.
During the nearly hour-long opening set for Cheap Trick, the Pumpkins -- Billy Corgan, James Iha, D'Arcy and recently added touring drummer Kenny Aronoff -- played a set consisting solely of new material. However, according to Chicago Tribune rock critic Greg Kot, fans who heard the band's latest efforts live will be very surprised at how different the music sounds on the album, which hits stores June 2.
"Having heard [Adore] and listening to what they did the other night, it seems like they're already shifting the sound a bit to fit Aronoff, who will instantly up the energy level," Kot told JAMTV on Monday. "What we heard was the arena rock version of a bedroom record. Anyone who thinks they got a taste of the album will be surprised at how mellow and atmospheric it really is."
As a studio album, Adore is a departure from what Pumpkins fans have gotten used to over the years, Kot said. However, the live songs brought them back to the early Pumpkins sound.
During their set, the Pumpkins introduced six new songs that appear on Adore, including "To Sheila," "Tear," "Once Upon A Time," "Daphne Descends," "Shame" and "Ava Adore" -- the album's first single, which hit radio stations across America on Friday.
Of the remaining songs the Pumpkins played, one was a song that didn't make it to the album, according to Kot, while the other was a "far-removed version with their own sick and twisted take," of Joy Division's "Transmission" to close their set.
Although Aronoff replaced the drum machine and electronic enhancements on "Ava Adore," Kot said it was the one song performed on Saturday night that more or less sounded similar to the album version. He explained that while other new songs do contain a sense of melody and delicacy on the album, they were very different when the band hit the stage. "On the album, there's a new naked side to the music. Live, Aronoff took the songs in a harder, new direction. It's a good example of how they're bringing these two worlds together."
In related news, the Pumpkins will head across the Atlantic this week. Although their European tour isn't scheduled to kick off until May 14 at the Speilbudenplatz in Hamburg, Germany, a source close to the Pumpkins told JAMTV they will spend the next few days in England shooting a video for "Ava Adore."
For the European leg of their summer world tour, the Pumpkins will play an eclectic mix of interesting venues, including Bilbao, Spain's new Guggenheim Museum (May 21), Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens (May 26) and the FNAC Rooftop in Paris (June 4).
Though no dates have been announced after the June 9 stop in Athens, the Pumpkins are scheduled to play shows in Japan, Australia and the United States through the end of the summer. (Ari Bendersky)
Smashing Pumpkins European tour dates:
- May 14 - Speilbudenplatz, Hamburg, Germany
- May 16 - Genova Harbor, Genova, Italy
- May 18 - Cannes, Cannes, France
- May 19 - TBD, Lisbon
- May 21 - Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
- May 23 - Shepherds Bush, London
- May 25 - Skansen, Stockholm
- May 26 - Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
- May 28 - Botanique Gardens, Brussels
- May 29 - Rock am Ring Festival, Nuremberg, Germany
- May 31 - Olympia Theatre, Dublin
- June 1 - Pinkpop Festival, Landgraaf, Holland
- June 4 - FNAC Rooftop, Paris (*afternoon show)
- June 4 - Palais du Sport, Paris (*evening show)
- June 5 - TBD, Lyon, France
- June 7 - Gradinata delle EUR, Rome
- June 9 - TBS, Athens