hmv.com reviews... The Smashing Pumpkins @ London's KOKO
The Smashing Pumpkins rolled into town on Friday (December 5th) for a very special show, and we were there to review things...
The Smashing Pumpkins. Legendary alt-rockers.
KOKO London. The palace of Camden.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
As you would expect when a legendary band the size of the Smashing Pumpkins are crammed into a 1500-capacity venue, it was absolutely packed.
The crowd went crazy as soon as they hit the stage and kept going until the very last member had left!
So what was the set like? What did they play?
As soon as the lights went down the crowd went wild but unlike most modern bands, The Smashing Pumpkins didn’t need any intro music, modestly the four members (which, for the time being, include Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk and The Killers' bassist Mark Stoermer) walked on to the stage to be greeted by mighty applause.
After a brief greeting they went straight in to 'One And All (We Are)' and the crowd absolutely loved it, jumping up and down and screaming along to every word.
Three energetic songs later frontman Billy Corgan politely addressed the crowd, praising the fans who have stood by him and his band through all the years they have been together. In a toned down voice he announces, “We would like to play a song now called 'Tonight, Tonight'.” Having been eagerly awaiting this iconic anthem, the crowd went wild, with the band flawlessly playing as strong today as they ever were.
After a couple more songs they unleash the song that made Billy Corgan's iconic T-Shirt, 'Zero'. With the delightfully heavy lead guitar riff churning the crowd up in to a mosh pit stopping only to all scream back the lines “Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me", before getting straight back in to the undeniable groove.
After finishing on 'Silverf**k', the band walk off stage followed by screams for more. After a few minuets of keeping the fans waiting they return to the stage but this time with one more member, none other than the god of shock rock himself, Marylin Manson!
The crowd screamed in shock and excitement and they got straight in to a Manson original 'Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge'. After that the band said their humble goodbyes before treating us to a final helping of a Smashing Pumpkins classic 'Ava Adore' with Manson and Billy Corgan duetting.
Any good between song banter?
Not the most chatty of performances, Billy chose to keep his speeches in between songs to a minimal but what was great to see was the positive interaction between the two rock icons when Manson hit the stage putting an end to a underlying feud that had been going on for 15 years! Now that’s the Christmas spirit.
Did they put on much of a show?
There were some pretty cool giant strobe lights on and above the stage giving impact to the more intense sections of the set butother than that it was fairly laid back in terms of stage effects.
What was the highlight of the set?
We would have to narrow it down to two. The pure energy and madness of 'Zero' and the moment Manson walked on stage and blew everyone’s minds!
Where can I catch them next?
They're now heading to France and then back to the States to continue their world tour. The band are yet to release any upcoming UK dates.