8.23.2008

An Evening with the Smashing Pumpkins



I've broken my "no weekends" posting rule because this just could not wait until Monday. As you all know, Thursday was Pumpkins Day and it did not disappoint. At all.

Get comfy because here is my full report. :)

We arrived at Mizner around 2pm and it was pouring down rain. I can't lie - I was super worried that the show would be canceled (again). We decided to brave the rain to find some drinks since we had heard that there was a nice local pub in the mall. We found the pub, unfortunately, it was closed. Makes sense considering that it was only 2pm, but at that time, we were pissed. How could Boca deny us our alcohol? ;)

We settled for some beers at Max's Grille. Some turned into many while our other friends arrived and before we knew it - it was almost 4pm. I decided to walk outside now that the weather had cleared to check if a line was forming or if they were sound checking. Well, I found both! Unfortunately, the music I was hearing was from their sound technicians and not the actual band, but I got into line and was happy to see that I was only number 7 or so. A few minutes later, the band came on stage for their official sound check and I was lucky enough to be able to watch them rehearse through the Amphitheater's fence.



Slightly wobbly video of soundcheck. Please ignore fangirl-isms.


Pretty early on, I noticed Billy looking over in our general direction so I waved through the narrow bars and he waved back. I through up rock fingers - he did so back. This is where I had a fangirl moment. I let out a pretty ridiculous squeal. For the rest of sound check my friends and I cheered them on and Billy addressed us as "his wall." It was probably shortly after that BAT NAILS (a local radio personality dressed as Batman) arrived and we officially got the line party started: we met more Pumpkin fans who were surprisingly awesome (not freaky as per usual) and started taking shots. It was about that time when we were probably labeled the most annoying people in line, but we wouldn't have it any other way. We had an absolute blast, which helped the time go by faster and sure enough, before we knew it the doors were opening.



Illustration of how much fun we really had while in line.


I ran like the wind and was able to score a front and center position, literally setting my purse down on the stage. At this point, I don't think words could really describe how I felt. I was going to see my favorite band in the entire world. A band that I thought I would never be able to see again for the past 8 years. And not only was I going to see them, but I was going to see them perform just a couple of feet in front of me. I don't know if it was the drinks, but my little heart was very happy.

Show time arrived and so did black ominous rainclouds. Sure enough, huge raindrops started to fall all over us. Lightning struck, the whole nine yards. Of course, in our excitement, we all started to cheer thinking a bad ass rock show in torrential rain would be pretty outstanding. Unfortunately, their crew didn't think the same. They all came running out to stage and started moving equipment and staring apprehensively at the sky. Thankfully, the rain stopped several minutes later and the intro music kicked in. The band came on stage and they immediately proceeded to rock our pants off.



Video of the band completely rocking out.


I already knew their setlist so I knew what to expect. A lot of people told me this would spoil the show for me (including my hubs), but I have to disagree. It helped me enjoy the show even more. I knew what I was going to hear and did not get disappointed that the songs I wanted to hear were not played. Sure, I would have loved to hear Lucky 13 or Geek USA or Fuck You (An Ode to No One) - that would have been legendary, but I didn't harp on it. What they did play: some classics mixed with many "obscure" songs and covers did not disappoint in the least bit. They had a lot of energy, the crowd had a lot of energy and I loved every second of it.

At one point, the band slowed it down for an acoustic set (Once Upon A Time, Again, Again, Again and The Rose March) and Billy brought out his little niece, Ava, to sing along with him. It was by far the most adorable thing in the world and it was nice to see Billy as a family man for once, even though he did get upset that we cheered more for Ava than for him. ;)



Billy hugging little Ava after her singing debut.


They then changed things up by playing a cover of Pink Floyd's Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, which despite expecting it, was really a bummer for me. It was too long, too psychedelic and too boring for me and from what I saw, for the rest of the audience. Sure, it was cool to see Billy wail on the Timpani's to the point that he broke a stick, but 10 minutes or more of strange noises and feedback was way too much.



Billy bringing it on the Timpani's.


The encore consisted of a kazoo-driven We Only Come Out At Night, which was pretty amazing and a closing with a fun cover of Mungo Jerry's In The Summertime. As they were saying their goodbye's, my amazing hubs was able to flag Billy down to give me a guitar pick. So I am now the lucky owner of one of these to add to my "collection" (Billy gave me one at the Spec's show in 2000):



It was an amazing show. Granted, I've read a lot of negative reviews about this tour, but for a hardcore fan, it was perfect. Like I said, there were a lot of songs I would have liked to hear that were not played, but I wouldn't have replaced any except for the Pink Floyd cover only because it completely lost the audience. I saw my favorite band and at the end of the day, I would have had a grin from ear to ear if Billy Corgan was just sitting on a stool reading a cereal box. If you are just a singles fan, you will hate it. But honestly, if you only liked 1979, why the hell are you even attending? I left really hoping that they are able to embark on their 20th anniversary tour in November so we can see them again.

But the best part was still to come.
We bought some merchandise (shirts and posters) and then took a quick bathroom stop before heading over to where their bus was parked. We found a group already waiting of about 30 people. About 10 minutes later, Billy walked out of the venue towards us. It was at about that moment that my brain turned off. A guy asked him if he could take a picture with him. Billy said no, that he rather spend 10 minutes actually talking to us rather than snapping pictures and signing autographs. Although I was bummed b/c I was hoping to FINALLY have a picture with him after 13 years of crazy fandom, I understood that he was actually being a very cool human being. So we talked. Or rather everyone talked for me. I just stared at him. My friends told him how great the show was, one girl asked if they were going to do more residencies, one extremely annoying fan asked Billy to take his country's flag and finally I opened my mouth. All I could ask was details on the free Orlando show that was going to take place the next day. Ugh, stupid Meli. But, I suppose it was better than what I really wanted to say and do : scream I LOVE YOU and give him a bear hug. It was very very difficult to hold back, you have no idea. But I behaved. Augi on the other hand, slipped Billy his business card. Why? Well, I don't have to write it out for all of you, you can all watch video evidence as caught by another fan:



So I saw my favorite band. And they were amazing. And then I got to meet a man that I have admired for the majority of my life. So all and all, a pretty stellar night that I wish I could relive over and over again.

Until the next show....

6 comments:

Mango Gal said...

That is awesome Meli! Glad you had a great time!

tamsterg said...

Me+Seeing pictures= Envious!

Meli said...

Thanks Ms. Mango!!!!
And hello tamsterg - thanks for passing by and enjoying my post. :)

angela said...

This made me so happy!

Kristen Fiore said...

I loved this post, but not as much as Jaime did :D Miss you!

Meli said...

Miss you Kristen!!!!
And although I never had the pleasure of meeting Jaime, I love him ever so much!

Hehe, I hope you guys are loving it up in Tally...but Miami misses you <3

Ang - squee!!!! <3