on 23 September 2013
I have just finished watching the 2 hour concert which was only released today 23/9/2013.
Overall it is a must have for any true Smashing Pumpkins fan - showcasing the latest album LIVE along side hits from the last 20 years.
The quality of the picture and sound are really good - and if you have a good sound system or decent headphones you might feel that you are actually there.
This Blu-ray gives people a chance to see what this form of the band (only Billy from the original Smashing Pumpkins is here) have to offer.
The 4 piece group put on a solid show and the 3 members coming into the band do a good job on all fronts (Bassist and Guitarist are better musicians than those in the original band although I miss Jimmy Chamberlin - a lot!).
This review could be a 5 out of 5 but I have given it a 4 which is just down to preference of the music.
Billy has stated in interviews about not being the same person he was and is not doing the band again just to play the hits. He proves that again here with over 50 minutes of new material. I do wish he would stop playing some of the old songs such as 'Bullet' and 'Disarm' because he looks like he is just going through the motions. He isn't that guy anymore but he is still a great songwriter and musician, is music from 2007 to 2012 shows that.
I am in the group of fans who doesn't really want to hear the hits that are still being played on tours.
I would prefer to hear new music or obscure b-sides such as 'Soot and Stars' or something from the Machina II Album or the less played songs from other albums such as 'Raindrops + Sunshowers(from Machina: The Machines Of God), 'Whir' (from Pisces Iscariot) or 'Set the ray to Jerry' (from The Aeroplane Flies High). They played 'Blank Page' and 'The Imploding Voice' when I saw them this year and that is more interesting to me than hearing 'Zero' and other hits although I love those songs.
I love those songs. I could compare it to the reason I don't enjoy Metallica shows and that is because it ends up being a repeat of the past and one that won't live up to the old memories (memories of the urgency you'd hear in Billy's voice when singing the last part of 'Tonight, Tonight' THAT is now gone. Or the snare drum fills and rolls Jimmy Chamberlin added to that same song making if better than the recorded version...despite a great young drummers attempt, those dynamic beats are also long gone.).
It must be difficult for this version of the Smashing Pumpkins because you've got people like me and I am sure there are many more who only go to hear the hits - or people less unaware of the bands new releases or latest moves. I've been listening to the old songs for so many years that like Billy who has been playing them so long doesn't 'feel it' the same way as it used to be (for many reasons).
The exception to the old songs in my opinion is when they change and rearrange a song - something the Pumpkins at any time have been really good at doing (Look at the version of 'Starz' they played at Glastonbury this year. Amazing. Or 'Heavy Metal Machine' from the show on 'If All Goes Wrong DVD'. These performances are interesting not just for the fans but for the band. Jimmy Chamberlin said at the time (about that longer alternative version of 'Heavy Metal Machine') that it was one of the pieces he enjoyed playing the most.).
I do like Oceania and I have seen them every time they come to the UK but I feel I am always waiting for something else. Not the hits. Not this set of songs. Something deeper like a Machina concept album or something with a mystery to go with the new sounds like it used to be.
It's like when they came back in 2007. I felt they would get better and better then JC left again and you have to adapt your expectations of what the band is and where it can go. They will always be special for me as I have grown up with them and I will support what they do. Seeing Billy now, I wonder how long he will continue to go on with the band. He doesn't seem happy and I am not an expert but I think his age is also becoming an issue for him and his continued work with this thing he created all those years ago.
Sorry, I went of topic there (It's now 2015!!!!). Oh, wait. My calendar needed updating!
Back to the Blu-ray review.
A great show with the Oceania album played in full. A good selection of fan favorites (yes they are!). Interviews NOT with the band (I was thinking Billy and Co would be in them but its sadly just a few interviews from the show producer and stage designer. I did not watch them.)
There is an option for 3D support. I could not try this.
Picture quality: 5/5
Sound quality: 5/5
Value: 2 hour Show so 5/5
Verdict: Perfect for most Pumpkin fans. I've given it a 4 because of the material on here besides the main event - Oceania in full.
Highlights: Oceania, Glissandra, Wildflower, X.Y.U, The Dream Machine.
on 10 October 2013
With so much dross being released it's refreshing to hear and see The Pumpkins on top form here, their last record features heavily here and whilst they take a few listens these are fine songs from Corgan. No longer the darling of rock Corgan has defied his critics by making some of his best music here. Excellent band great sound if you gave up on the SPs now is the time to reacquaint yourself with some of the best melodic rock songs of the last few years.