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.