• Ted Stridh

On stage: Smashing Pumpkins


James Iha and Billy Corgan live on stage in Stockholm

With words like hej (hello) and tack (thank you) James Iha speaks to the massive crowd in Gröna Lund - Stockholm, Sweden. The American guitarist seems very relaxed while he practice his Swedish skills with the audience.


James also tried to convince the people that he and frontman Billy Corrgan made a bet and therefore were planning to take a ride on one of the rollercoster after the concert. Shortly after he admitted that this was not true, but the American couldn't hide his fascination over the fact that the band were in fact playing in the very middle of a gigantic amusement park.


James Iha

This probably had a bit of an impact on the concert itself. The great advantage of performing in this way is obviously that they reaches out to a newkind of audience, who might not necessarily have come into contact with their music otherwise.


Perhaps the disadvantage is that you do not really get the same response from the crowd as you would get from a fully-dedicated audience. But I still think that the audience did their best and after a while (an increasingly more passionate) Billy Corgan managed to get the audience fired up.


The Smashing Pumpkins started of strongly with the classic song Zero from the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, characterised by its repeating guitar riffs. Among the other songs that we were able to enjoy was Bullet with Butterfly Wings, 1979 and (of course) the immensely popular Tonight, tonight, that made the audience start applauding and singing already in the introduction.


Both Billy Corgan and James Iha were very present on the stage and joked with the audience, which is always appreciated, of course. When it comes to the performance itself, it was a joy to hear Billy's unique voice live. James Iha and his stable guitar playing, Jimmy Chamberlin's incredibly accurate rhythm feel and Jeff Schroeder who entertained the audience with his riffs during the break between two of the songs.

Although we are early in the concert-summer in Stockholm, my guess is that this was one of the most popular concerts of the year. Around 12,000 spectators were in place to celebrate one of the most iconic bands out there.


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