4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Where have all the good times gone ?,
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This review is from: Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania - Live In NYC [DVD]  (DVD)
I was quite excited to get a first row glimpse of the last Smashing Pumpkins Oceania tour, since I hadn't been able to see them live when they played in my hometown (Lille, France). In all honesty, the first time I put the DVD in my player,I found the first hour of the show almost boring to watch. I understand Billy Corgan meant to play the entire "Oceania" album live, but in my opinion that is not where the best Smashing Pumpkins tracks are to be found. Sad but true, their first three albums remain the best by far & I was desperately looking for that vital spark during the first part of this show. Besides, it feels like the other musicians (they're not behaving as full "members" of the band) are only there to perform Billy Corgan's songs, no more, no less. Although I was amazed by Mike Byrne on drums. Being a drummer myself I tend not to focus so much on the lead guitar or the stunning beauty on bass - yeah, there's always a female bass-player in the Smashing Pumpkins, sort of a trademark... No, really, the embarrassing thing is that there seems to be no real pleasure in playing together. Is it business as usual within the Pumpkins circus ? Certainly felt like it when watching that DVD. OK, Billy Corgan has a reputation for sometimes being a bit "off" or behaving in a manner that has little to do with typical rock'n'roll camaraderie. Still, the atmosphere on stage looked cold as ice to me. As for the setlist itself, well, as I said before, the best songs come late in the show (XYU, Hummer, Zero, Cherub Rock, early gems from the Chicago band) Mind you, there's quite an above average version of Bowie's "Space Oddity" that works as an apt transition between the "Oceania" part of the show & the "Yeah-this-is-the-stuff-I-was-hoping-for-when-I-bought-my-ticket/DVD" part. Nevertheless, as a longstanding SP fan, I don't regret buying this DVD. Besides, you get the DVD and 2 CDs of the concert in the same digipack for a fair price. So if you're a Pumpkin fan yourself, you might well find this DVD worth a try. It may not turn out to be the one you'll like best in your collection of SP live DVDs (official or bootleg ones) but it's still a good bargain.