“I’m going to ask your indulgence now…for a change,” said Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan Saturday night (June 23) as the newly reunited foursome made their U.S. performance debut since their 2000 farewell gigs. The difficult personality Corgan alluded to might have soured original Pumpkins James Iha and D’Arcy Wretzky, who aren’t taking part in this reunion, but the full house was eating out of his hand. On the opening night of a nine-date residency at the Orange Peel, the Pumpkins brought out the old, the new, and the very new, playing hits such as “Zero” and “Disarm” along with material from the forthcoming Zeitgeist, including pinch-hitting first single “Tarantula.” After the plea for indulgence, Corgan even played a soft number he’d written the day before. It seems as if the Chicago alt-rock behemoth, at times, seemed to overwhelm the tiny club with an arena-ready set, but the smiles on the faces in the crowd — graying Gen-Xers and whippersnapper hipsters alike — made it obvious that it didn’t matter. JEFFREY PARKER / PHOTOS BY EMILY STAMBAUGH
We asked: Who or what would you like to smash, and why?