Smashing Pumpkins Tour Back on Track With 2 New Members

Unknown Source - August 29, 1996

(Thanks to FraPeters@aol.com)

Las Vegas--Chicago's Smashing Pumpkins resumed their world tour here Tuesday night, six weeks after a heroin overdose killed their keyboard player, left their drummer unemployed and forced the postponement of 22 shows.

The replacements for the late Jonathan Melvoin and fired Jimmy Chamberlin who has pleaded not guilty to drug charges in the July 12 incident -- filled in more than adequately in front of about 8,000 fans at the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus.

Head Pumpkin Billy Corgan mentioned neither the New York drug incident nor Melvoin and Chamberlin by name, but he addressed the issue.

"You know, we haven't had the easiest yet. I don't want to talk about that...We just want to say thanks, and we appreciate your support. I know we're not as exciting as [Las Vegas magicians and animal breeders] Seigfreid & roy, (but) we have our own white tiger, Matt "Cosmo" Walker."

Corgan was referring to the band's new drummer, a former member of Chicago-based Filter. Dennis Flemion, a founding member of the Frogs, replaced Melvoin.

Despite the time off, the Pumpkins showed no signs of rust. They tore into the material with their trademarks intact: Corgan's primal screaming, the dental-drill drone on Corgan;s and James Iha's guitars, the smash mouth drumming and the extended hypnotic soundscapes that provided a welcome respite from the sonic onslaught.

The band's 19 song, two-hour, three encore set drew primarily from "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness," its 28 song double-CD. Predictably, the hit songs ("1979" and "Bullet With Butterfly Wings")received the most enthusiastic response, as did those from 1993's "Siamese dream" ("Cherub rock", "Today" and "Disarm").

Truth be told, the only irreplaceable member of this noisy band is Corgan, who writes 90 percent of the material, sings 100 percent of the songs, and plays most of the solos.

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