And Noel Gallagher
Soar At Blossom
August 20, 2019
The Smashing Pumpkins, along with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds brought the hits and a few surprises to Blossom Music Center on a perfect night for a show.
The newly re-formed Pumpkins features three original members, Billy Corrigan (guitars, vocals), James Iha (guitars), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums), with long time bassist Jeff Schroeder in tow to round out the quartet. Along with touring musicians Katie Cole (keyboards) and Jake Bates (guitars), the band sounded tight and Corgan’s vocals were spot on all evening long.
The stage featured three huge, multicolored inflatable nesting dolls that served as the band's backdrop; the creative lighting gave it a circus-like atmosphere as the band opened the show with “Today.”
In past years, Corgan seemed to shy away from the"Hits.” That wasn’t the case last night as almost every hit song in the band's catalog was played.
During “Knights of Malta,” Corgan’s young son came out on stage and jumped into his father’s arms while he sang. Later in the song, while Billy was playing guitar, he and his son started pressing different foot pedals, creating different sounds on the guitar. It was a moment of innocence and joy that saw a smile creep across Corgan's face.
Iha thanked the audience for coming out to the show and during “G.L.O.W.” he started going into Van Halen’s “Panama” as he said, “I can barely see the road from the heat coming off.” He then quipped “Sorry, David Lee Roth jumped into me. Let’s get back to the Smashing Pumpkins.”
The surprise of the evening came when the band went into James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.” During that song, the three inflatable nesting dolls rotated around to reveal black and white figures that lit up, creating a pretty cool effect.
The hits continued as they played “1979,” “Tonight Tonight” and “Cherub Rock” in the latter part of the set.
The show closed with “The Aeroplane Flies High (Looks Left, Turns Right.”
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and his new band The High Flying Birds played a great set of British pop-rock.
The first half of the set mostly consisted of songs from his highly acclaimed 2017 release Who Built The Moon?
Ever the cheeky one, after playing “Black Star Dancing,” Gallagher told the audience “Here’s another one you don’t know,” as they launched into “This Is The Place.”
He then admitted, “The first part of the set was for us. The second part of the set is for you,” as they went into one of the best pop songs of the ‘90s, “Wonderwall.”
It became an Oasis block party as they played “Little By Little, ” “Stop Crying Your Heart Out,” and “Don’t Look Back In Anger.”
Before closing the show with “All You Need Is Love” Gallagher told the audience that he has been coming here for twenty-five years and hopefully “the next time it will be for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
What a great induction that would be, Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis; both artists proved last night that they are more than worthy!
California quintet AFI opened the show.
Review by Greg Drugan
Photos by Brian Lumley