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Smashing Pumpkins with Interpol and Rival Sons


Northwell Health At Jones Beach Theater

Wantagh, NY

August 30, 2023

By Mike Perciaccante

The Smashing Pumpkins were formed in 1988 in Chicago, IL. The band at that time was comprised of guitarist and vocalist Billy Corgan, bassist D’arcy Wretzky, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. During its career, Corgan has been the band’s sole constant member. Iha and Chamberlin have both left and subsequently returned to the fold. Jeff Schroeder first joined as a touring guitarist in 2007. Currently the band is comprised of Corgan, Iha, Chamberlin and Schroeder. Jack Bates (son of the legendary Peter Hook) on bass and Katie Cole on keyboards and guitars serve as live touring members.

The Smashing Pumpkins sound leans heavily on a diverse group of musical genres. Its sound contains elements of pop, goth, heavy metal, prog rock, psychedelia, electronica, alternative/modern rock and good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. During its career, The Smashing Pumpkins have sold upwards of 30 million albums worldwide. Its canon incudes the classics Gish (Caroline Records, 1991), Siamese Dream (Virgin Records, 1993), Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Virgin Records, 1996), Adore (Virgin Records, 1998), Zeitgeist (Reprise Records, 2007) as well as its current Thirty Tigers Records release, Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts (2022). The Smashing Pumpkins have won a number of accolades and awards including two Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, two MTV Video Music Awards, and an MTV Europe Music Award.

New York City’s Interpol was formed in 1997. At its inception, the band consisted of lead vocalist/guitarist Paul Banks, lead guitarist Daniel Kessler, Bassist/Keyboardist Carlos Dengler and drummer Greg Drudy. Drudy left in 2000 and was replaced by Sam Fogarino. In 2020 when Dengler left, instead of finding a replacement, Banks took on the duties of bassist. The band’s current touring musicians are Bradson Curtis on keyboards and Brad Truax on bass. The band’s sound is a melodic mix of modern guitar rock and pop with a driving beat. It is a post-punk sound barrage that is derived from its alternative rock influences and has been favorably compared to that of Joy Division, Television and Echo & The Bunnymen.

Interpol found immediate success when its debut album Turn On the Bright Lights (Matador Records, 2002) was declared as the #10 release on NME's list of the top albums of the year and ranked #1 on Pitchfork Media's list of the top 50 albums of the year. Interpol has continued to receive both critical and commercial success with its subsequent Matador Records releases including Antics (2004), its self-titled album (2010), El Pintor (2014), Marauder (2018), A Fine Mess (2019) and its latest release The Other Side of Make-Believe (2022). Our Love To Admire was released in 2007 on Capitol Records.

Long Beach, CA and Nashville, TN both serve as home to Rival Sons. Formed in 2008, the band consists of Jay Buchanan on lead vocals, Scott Holiday on guitar, Dave Beste on bass and Michael Miley on drums. Keyboardist Todd Ögren is a touring member. During its career, Rival Sons has released seven albums and one EP. Its current CD, Darkfighter, was released on Low Country Sound/Atlantic Records in 2023.

The band’s sound is a mélange of its members’ diverse influences: Prince, The Roots, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Joni Mitchell, Sly & the Family Stone and Van Morrison. Some have called it a return to 70s rock while others describe it as alternative rock. It has also been labeled as hard rock. Mainly, the band’s music can best be termed as a musical gumbo combining bluesy rock with catchy hooks and soulful vocals. During its career, Rival Sons has opened for a veritable Who’s Who of rock royalty including the Rolling Stones, KISS, Sammy Hagar and AC/DC. Rival Sons won the 2012 Classic Rock Roll of Honour Award for Breakthrough Artist and was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2019.

On a pleasant Wednesday evening in late August, THE WORLD IS A VAMPIRE TOUR touched down at the historic Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY. Even though it was a midweek show, and many audience members had to be at work again the next morning, a sold-out crowd awaited the three acts.

Rival Sons was on first. The band’s high-energy 45-minute, seven song set was highlighted by strong performances on “Mirrors” and “Rapture” (from Darkfighter), and the set closers “Get What’s Coming” (from the DIRT ShowDown video game soundtrack) and “Where I’ve Been” (from the 2014 Earache Records album, Great Western Valkyrie). The band’s performance had the audience completely captivated and eating out of the palm of its collective hands. When Rival Sons left the stage, the crowd obviously wanted more and gave the band a resounding standing ovation.

Interpol was up next. Kicking its set off with “Toni,” the band delivered an amazing, energetic fourteen song performance that was highlighted by favorites such as “Obstacle 1,” “All The Rage Back Home” and the set closer “Slow Hands.” After a heavy rainstorm earlier in the day, as the tide began to rise, the set was marred by the rising tides that occasionally plague the intimate venue by the bay. The water began to rise and by the end of Interpol’s performance, there was approximately an inch of ware covering the floor in the front of the orchestra pit. This, however, did not deter the band which played on, or the audience members which stayed at their assigned seats standing, sloshing as they danced and cheering for each tune. Other highlights of Interpol’s set included: “Evil,” “the Rover,” “No I In A Threesome” and “PDA.”

After a brief intermission, the lights dimmed, the intro music blared, and The Smashing Pumpkins appeared. By the time that the band hit the stage, the orchestra pit had taken on more water. At its highest point, the water reached the calves of the orchestra pit crowd. It was surreal. While The Smashing Pumpkins performed, fish were seen swimming through the flooded front section of the venue. Further back, where the water was a tad less deep, crabs were seen scurrying about the shallow end.

The band paid no mind and delivered a strong twenty-one song set that blended old favorites, well-chosen covers, a few surprises and, of course, the hits. Corgan, always the showman, was decked out in dark clothing with dark makeup under his eyes and a “V” interlocked with a “Z” symbol scrawled across his forehead. After opening with “The Everlasting Gaze” and “Doomsday Clock,” the band then delighted the crowd with a superb version of the Talking Heads’ “Once In a Lifetime.”

The Smashing Pumpkins roared through the next few tunes: the trifecta of “Today,” “Perfect” and “Disarm” acted as a time machine that transported the crowd back to the 1990s. Other highlights were: “Ava Adore” (from Adore); “Tonight, Tonight” and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” (from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness) and the Manfred Mann cover, “Hubble Bubble (Toil and Trouble).” Also making their appearances were “Purple Blood’ and “Hummer.” The band’s latest album, Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts was represented with “Empires” and Beguiled.”

The spectacular evening ended with a flurry that, if the band was a prizefighter, could be considered a knockout combination – “1979,” “Cherub Rock” and “Zero.” Throughout the evening, it was apparent that The Smashing Pumpkins were having a blast. As it performed, the band fed off the electricity generated by the audience as well as each other’s joy and musical power. The older tunes, the newer tunes and the covers were expertly intermingled and pieced together to create an amazing evening that only The Smashing Pumpkins could provide.


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