Smashing Pumpkins concert in Madison brings back memories



Smashing Pumpkins at Sylvee.

Tara Olivia Martens, Staff Writer

Smashing Pumpkins arrived in Madison for their sold out show at the Sylvee  on Nov. 28. Alternative rock is the name of the game for Smashing Pumpkins – a style of music that emerged from the rebellious sound of the ‘80s underground music.

Madison has embraced the “grunge” culture and “gothic” look of alternative rock for many years. The show was filled with young adults of the 1990s, who have now grown up and proudly came to the concert drenched in black and flannel

The Smashing Pumpkins released their first album in 1988, making this year the 30th year the group has been touring. The band’s current set of crew members: Chicago raised lead singer, guitarist, Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and bass player Jack Bates and guitarist Jeff Schroeder, are making the tour circuit this time around.

Many of the 2,000 attendees at the Sylvee sang along with the Smashing Pumpkins classic songs, which included “Today” and “The World is a Vampire.” The Smashing Pumpkins’ previous albums, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” and “Gish” were the albums that attracted the majority of the band’s fan base.

The Smashing Pumpkins nearly disbanded on a number of occasions due to internal conflicts of interest among band members, drug addiction, and a death of a previous keyboardist who died of a heroin ove dose in 1996.

But the band is still producing new music. The band’s latest album, “Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun,” debuted this week at No. 54 on the Billboard 200 chart. A featured song of this album, “Solara,” was played for Madison’s audience, with dramatic background lighting and graphic art display of what looked like a lit-up moon rotating with the words “SOLARA.”

Iha who has co-written a handful of songs with Corgan caught the audience attention as Iha sang solo, The Cures’ “Friday I’m In Love.” Smashing Pumpkins tickled the fancies, brought closer and solitude to Madison’s sold out show with songs “ZERO,” “Disarm” and “1979.”

Many bands come and go, but few bands have survived the alternative music’s “revolution,” something that Smashing Pumpkins attributed to its adoring crowd. The Smashing Pumpkins’ latest album offers a bit of nostalgia for its a large global fan base and faithful followers that made up the crowd base at Sylvee.