The Smashing Pumpkins Rock Guitar-Heavy Set At Pine Knob

The Smashing Pumpkins were on another level last night at Pine Knob Music Theatre for their ‘The World Is A Vampire‘ Tour with special guests Interpol.


The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the most accomplished and musically enriching bands that have continued to soldier on past their origin in 1988. The fact they’re still touring when there are people in the audience (me) who are as old as their band is a triumph that echos their talent and the unique output of their catalog over the years.


While Billy Corgan, frontman and overall final-say in the band has experimented with electronic elements in later years, the band graced the stage with a heavy guitar-laced setlist. Corgan was flanked by his bandmates including accomplished guitarist James Iha, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, guitarist Jeff Schroeder, as well as live tour band members Jack Bates and Katie Cole.




Iha addressed the audience a few times to thank people for coming, and about midway through the set, Corgan took the mic to engage in a little friendly banter with him. They talked about coming to Pine Knob Music Theatre for Lollapalooza back when it toured, and cracked a few jokes before breaking off into an acoustic performance of “Tonight, Tonight.”



The crowd was in sync with the moods that shifted from song to song, including raising phones for the more somber tracks, and jumping up and down to harder bangers like “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” aptly placed in the middle of the set, being the origin of the title of the tour.


They also showcased tracks like “Spellbinding” from their newest album ‘Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts,’ which marks their 12th album, but not forgetting some of their massive hits like “Ava Adore” off their 4th album. Here is where we saw Corgan start to have a bit more fun, moving across the stage like he did in the music video, as well as dancing and asking the crowd to sing along. Sometimes bands can take themselves too seriously, and it was great to see Corgan and the crew loosen up for their performance.


Sadly, the setlist got cut short due to inclement weather, and most of us didn’t make it to the concession stand before the downpour and lightning began, causing fans to miss “Hummer,” “Beguiled,” “1979,” “Cherub Rock” and “Zero” if the band had stayed true to the setlists from previous dates. Still, even with that soaking, mad dash, that may have been the best concert we’ve seen all year.


Check out the images and the setlist below:




According to Spin, “On July 27, Smashing Pumpkins celebrated the 30th anniversary of their landmark sophomore album, Siamese Dream. To honor its anniversary, the band is teaming with Tower Records to recreate its 1993 album release concert at Billy Corgan and his partner Chloé Mendel’s Madame Zuzu’s tea shop in Highland Park, Il.”


This pop-up will have limited edition merchandise and is coincidentally happening the same weekend as Chicago’s own Riot Fest, assuring that fans from all over will be in attendance. There are tickets for intimate showcases (starting at $345), as well as a livestream of the concert on a partnering app called Learn more about all of that at



Ami Nicole is a Concert + Festival Photographer and Music Journalist who has covered multiple artists of all genres in digital media and in Radio to 60+ stations across the U.S. Some of the acts she's photographed include The Smashing Pumpkins, My Chemical Romance, Billie Eilish, Snoop Dogg, Bring Me The Horizon, Shinedown, and more. See her full portfolio on

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