Live Review: The Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:02:44
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The End Times tour brings a wonderful apocalypse to Houston, TX.
The End Times may be upon us, but rock 'n' roll feels like it's about to enjoy a new beginning. It took The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson to give it that breath of fresh air. Their co-headlining trek has the power to inspire the next generation to put down the DJ machines and cell phones and grab guitars. This tour packs that much of a punch from top-to-bottom. It's everything you'd expect, hope, and maybe even pray for from a summer night of rock—and more so.
At NRG Arena last night in Houston, The Smashing Pumpkins set the stage on fire without one prop. Vocalist and guitarist Billy Corgan cemented into a blissful psychedelic union with returning original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and bassist Jack Bates that engaged and entranced the audience for the 18-song set. The signature drum intro of "Cherub Rock" ignited the flawless proceedings as Corgan's voice careened to the heavens along with a deft lead. Schroeder stands out as the perfect guitar counterpart, locking in and volleying back and forth with bombastic brilliance. Chamberlin pounded as hard as ever practically waking up the gods with every impassioned hit, while Bates bolted down the low end impenetrably. To call it dynamic would be an understatement, it was downright divine, especially as "Tonight Tonight" from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness took flight.
Corgan added a heavy metal heft to the typically industrial swell of "Ava Adore," riffing along and making it even more muscular. Tunes from last year's Monuments to an Elegy, "Drum + Fife" and "One and All (We Are)," felt right at home next to "The Everlasting Gaze" and "Zero." The new material captured the same spirit, while showing a delightful wisdom and sharpened attack.
Sans guitar for "The Crying Tree of Mercury," Corgan soulfully sang, "I did it all for you." He and his band mages definitely gave everything there on a stunning rendition of Siamese Dream centerpiece "Mayonaise."