Friday, August 17, 2012

MCS Concert Review: Nothing can stop the Smashing Pumpkins!

Nothing can stop the Smashing Pumpkins!
Written by Jamie Ortega 
Photo by Magic Liwanag Photography

Nothing can stop the Smashing Pumpkins – be it floods, torrential rain, or debilitating traffic. Indeed, the legendary rock group redefined the statement “the show must go on,” as they performed to thousands of fans at the Araneta Coliseum last August 8, 2012 amid crazy monsoon rains and flash floods that crippled a large part of the Metropolis.

The Grammy-Award winning band that rose to fame in the 90s via their hit albums Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness delivered an impressive repertoire of old favorites and new tunes, delighting Pinoy fans that waited for more than 20 years to see their favorite rock band perform on local shores. As expected, the first half of the concert featured songs from Smashing Pumpkin’s newest album Oceania backed by astounding music videos projected into a big globe hanging over the stage. It provided a unique twist to a show filled with nostalgia and surprises.

 However, it was the second set that really got the crowd going as the band played ‘90s hits like Tonight Tonight and Bullet With Butterfly Wings. Another pleasant surprise was how talkative Billy Corgan was toward the audience. Other rock stars would usually just throw in a few comments here and there, but Billy made sure that he really connected with the audience not only through music but also through words. The front man commented on how beautiful Pinay women were, an action that drew deafening cheers from the crowd. He also made light of the country’s situation by joking “Rain, what rain?” Indeed, it seemed like there wasn’t any disaster outside as everyone gleefully waved, cheered, and applauded!  

After providing the usual 21 songs the Pumpkins showed how much they love their Pinoy fans by giving not one, not two but seven encores!  Included in the encore set was the classic hit 1979, Stand Inside Your Love, Muzzle, plus a cover of KISS’ Black Diamond performed by the band’s drummer Mike Byrne.

As if that wasn’t enough, the musicians connected with their Pinoy fans through Twitter! While it is customary for foreign acts to tweet their love for the Philippines after the concert the Pumpkins provided their fans a more in-depth experience by posting twitpics before the concert during the soundcheck! Bassist Nicole Florentino even asked the fans via twitter what dress she should wear, while Corgan posted a tweet picture of the musician tuning his guitar backstage. Hopefully other foreign acts can follow suit, more than just providing hype to the concert it also provides the fans with a special, more interactive, in-depth (not to mention cost-effective) experience.

The band also tweeted their messages of support and appreciation after the concert. "Manila fans, you're the best. Thanks to everyone who made the show possible. Our prayers go out to everyone who has been affected," tweeted Corgan.  Florentino posted a sweet message on twitter as well:"Manila, our love for you is stronger than any typhoon. Those who couldn't make it, you were in our hearts. Thank you for an amazing night," she tweeted. However, out of all the messages it was this tweet from Corgan that got the Pumpkins fans really excited: “For all the fans who CANNOT come tonight due to the weather we will come back again soon. We have been treated so well, and we thank you.” We will hold you to that promise Billy, and when you do we are sure to give you an even better time!  As a music insider once commented, it is difficult for a concert to be cancelled because there is a great chance that the other tour dates might be affected. Thank you to the Pumpkins and their promoters Music Management International for taking that extra step. Indeed, nothing can stop the Smashing Pumpkins from sharing their music and making their fans happy. In that same breath we do hope that nothing can stop the band from coming back. We will be greeting them with open arms when they do!

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