5 reasons to see Smashing Pumpkins at Sunfest


Hopefully, the 20-somethings of today will live long enough to see the angry young men and women of their musical youth become the wise, elder rock statesman of their adulthood. It’s true — if Mumford and Sons are lucky, they’ll be touring as long as Smashing Pumpkins, the Billy Corgan-led band whose bleak yet glammed-out, distortion-heavy melodies made the ’90s the beautifully angsty sing-along of self-reverence that it was.

While Corgan is the only original member of the band still involved, the band’s appearance on SunFest’s opening night Wednesday is sure to be a don’t miss. Here’s why:

1. It’ll be interesting to see how the band’s lyrics will translate, coming from a 40-something rock veteran rather than his raging 20-something self. If the band’s 2008 reunion show at Boca Raton’s Mizner Park is any indication, they’re still be incredibly powerful.

2. You want to see what the heck is in Billy Corgan’s brain right now, because that’s what you’re going to see. The 2008 show provided the angst and hits you were expecting, along with some weird mix of vaudeville, incessant noodling and a really sweet duet with Corgan’s niece. In short “you got the show Billy wanted you to see,” the lady behind me told me. And that’s really fascinating.

3. The band’s “Today” remains one of the era’s most haunting lyrics, because the line “today is the greatest day I’ve ever known” doesn’t translate as cheery and upbeat as you might think it does. Listen to it. It’s still riveting.

4. Bassist Nicole Fiorentino is one of the only female musicians in a national act playing at SunFest this year. Come support the sister.

5. In spite of your age, you are still just a rat in a cage. Come luxuriate in the glorious misery.



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