-Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour
A little less than a week from the night of the concert I get a text from a friend offering Nicole and I free tickets to go see The Smashing Pumpkins in Omaha. Now free tickets are always welcome, especially when it comes to a band like The Smashing Pupkins! But just so happens that these tickets are for a show that falls on a Monday AND it's over a tour hour drive from home to the venue. I initially, politely decline. In my head I'm thinking of how much wrangling I'd have to do to make it happen, in addition to depriving me of my sweet, precious sleep. Immediately after declining, I figure I'd better find out what kind of seats these tickets are for. Jason, the ticket owner, responds with a pretty solid sales pitch and I recant. Floor seats at a reunion show years in the making, I have to go...
Nicole and I don't officially get on the road until a little after 6 in the evening. We both know this means we will likely miss the opening of the show but also realize that it won't matter. Reviews I had read were reporting that the band was playing for over 3 hours, we'd only be an hour or so late. We rush to Omaha from Altoona and in no-time, we're parked and walking up the the Centurylink Center. For arriving late we were rewarded with a great parking spot and it was free. Let's go with only we were free, it helps me sleep at night knowing I'm a VIP.
Once we're in the building it's not long before we've made our way to the floor to locate our seats. Walking down to the floor I realize just how close we actually are to the stage! I'm super impressed and the stage is RIGHT THERE! I'm walking along and looking and listening to a band I remember playing to death in middle school. My neighbor in 5-6th grade introduced me to The Smashing Pumpkins. We'd play Siamese Dream to death while swimming in the pool. It was awesome and all those feelings of being a young turd came flooding back. It was pretty great!
Now I'd never been to a Smashing Pumpkins show before, and I had known nothing about what to expect. So what I got was a really big surprise. First I noticed the stage and lighting setup. It was pretty spectacular with lights moving up, down and every other way. In addition to the lights they had two gigantic screens that would move together in the center of the stage to form one screen, and then seperate to allow for things to happen on stage without our knowledge. There were also 5 or six pillars on the stage. They appeared to be triangular in shape and would display something different on each of it's three sides. One side being another screen on each. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it was kind of an ellaborate stage and light setup.
Now before I say it, I should clarify that this show was spectacular! The Pumpkins are all sorts of talented and they played their hearts out for over 3 hours. It was truly a great show. Billy Corgan is an extremely talented musician, more so live than I had previously thought. But here's my take on this show, and probably many more to come. After seeing what Sturgill Simpson did this year at Hinterland I've been given a new appreciation for what a live show should be. Sturgill was short one band member, no special lights or screens. He just came out and rocked or faces completely off. I won't get into it but it was the most awesome live performance I've seen. Sturgill has now created a new standard of showmanship, I call it the Sturgill Standard. Everything moving forward will be in comparison to Sturgill Simpson LIVE at Hinterland in 2018. Now if Sturgill is a 10 and silence is 1, the Smashing Pumpkins would be about an 8. That isn't to say that the Smashing Pumpkins were lacking in ANY way at all, they were not. It's just that Sturgill was that awesome and he's got big shoes to fill.
All in all, it was a really great show. The lights, the screens and videos, everything was fantastic. The choreography in the videos and other subject matter, perfect. It really felt like a once in a lifetime show and I was there. I couldn't say a single bad thing about the concert. The sound was great, everything was great. If you find yourself within driving distance of the Smashing Pumpkins Shiny and Oh So Bright tour, I highly recommend you make a point to check it out. Especially if you're a 90's kid like myself. Brings back memories of Sega Genesis, CD's and being a kid again. And those are three kick ass things to feel again as an old man.