20周年ツアー・シカゴ公演の批評

Pumpkinsの地元で11/18、19に行われた結成20周年ツアーのレビューが、シカゴの地元誌シカゴトリビューンSUN-TIMES及びSUN-TIMESの関連サイトなどにUPされています。いろいろなサイトで手厳しい批評があがっている今回のショウですが、地元では比較的温かい目で見守られているようです。PioneerLocal.comに載せられたレヴューでは「今回のショウは自身の人生観を変えてしまうような凄いものではなかったかれど、1日目のBLACK SUNSHINEも2日目のWHITE CROSSESもとても貴重な経験が出来たショウだったと思う。楽曲はすばらしく、ドラマや怒りや笑いがあった。そしてビリー・コーガンが次に何をしようとしているかまったく予測ができないから、いわゆる普通のコンサートに行った時とは全く異なるユニークな経験が出来たとしか言いようがない」とも書かれています。
原文は下記


Smashing Pumpkins review night 2 — Corgan Dr. Jekyll this time
By Jennifer Thomas
on November 20, 2008 12:10 PM
GUEST REVIEW: TONY SOLANO
Well, after night two (Nov. 19) of seeing the Smashing Pumpkins at the Chicago Theatre, I have concluded that Billy Corgan has split-personality disorder. If Tuesday’s show was fronted by Mr. Hyde, last night Corgan was the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll. He even appeared to be having fun. At one point he bantered back and forth with the crowd about the Cubs, claiming he could write a better song than “Go Cubs Go.” He then ripped Eddie Vedder’s Cubs song: “And if the Cubs did have any chance this past year, Eddie Vedder killed that dead. … Last I checked Eddie doesn’t live here, so he should stop writing songs about my team!” The transformation from bitter, angry Corgan on Tuesday night to enjoyable, playful Corgan last night left me quite confused.
I thought Tuesday’s show had a better mix of songs and overall flow (until the end), but last night’s was still excellent. The band opened with a guitar-less Corgan singing “Ava Adore,” followed a few songs later by “1979.” Then Corgan picked up an acoustic guitar to play a few songs with the entire band. Basically he did not touch an electric guitar until the sixth or seventh song. The crowd seemed apprehensive at first because of Tuesday night. On Tuesday, any moment without music was filled with fans yelling out song names and drunken salutations, but even with the softer opening last night, there weren’t as many screamers. Perhaps the reason Corgan flipped out on Tuesday was because the crowd members ticked him off. However, I thought the band’s hesitation to tear into the hard stuff made for a nice build up.
When Corgan finally started wailing away on his electric, the tension and excitement that had been building caused the crowd to erupt. The highlight of the night was “Cherub Rock” immediately into “Zero.” (Even the lame people in the balcony, where I was again seated, stood up for these two songs. I could actually feel the balcony shake beneath me.) For these songs, the ensemble of supporting musicians, which at times included a trumpet player, a trombone player, two keyboardists and a double-necked violin-like instrument, disappeared from the stage and it was just the four main members intimately assaulting the crowd.
Much like Tuesday, the second half of the set dragged noticeably. There was an acoustic version of “Landslide” featuring Corgan and guitarist Jeff Shroeder. Between the two nights, they ended up playing pretty much all of their major radio hits, which again confused me because Corgan was so insistent that they wouldn’t be playing all the songs we wanted to hear. The second half of the show was sprinkled with rarities, bizarre covers (such as “Lil’ Red Riding Hood”) and a few new songs. The low point of the evening was the band’s abysmal cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” which was barely recognizable. I am all for hard-hitting alternative takes on classic songs, but this was sloppy and disrespectful.
From what I’ve gathered, it appears the Pumpkins’ approach to performing a live show is much like the elements of a story, but they position the climax (a.k.a. the highlight of the show) about two-thirds of the way through and then you’re left with a bunch of falling action (lackluster songs) before the eventual resolution (end of the show). Basically these shows were like “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” after the final battle scene when the ring is destroyed, there is still about 20 unnecessary minutes of movie where everything is wrapped up in painstaking detail. I much prefer a lengthy build-up with the best stuff at the end of the night. But that’s just a disagreement in philosophies.
Overall, each individual show was solid but not life-changing. Yet the experience of both shows combined was beyond awesome and very special. The music was great…the band rocked, they slowed it down, they were angry, they were sensitive. There was drama, angst, laughs and a lot of weird tension because we never really knew what direction Corgan was going to go in next. And of course, it provided plenty to talk about. The only other time I’ve had so much to write about from a concert is when I’ve gone to music festivals. For as much controversy as there was surrounding these two shows, I could not have asked for a better or more unique experience.

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