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May 01, 2000 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2000-05-01

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Can 1 get a witness?
Reverend Horton Heat burns up
Detroit's St. Andrew's HaI tonight it 8
p.m. Call (313)961-MEL' for into.
michigandaily.com/Arts

ARTS

MONDAY
MAY 1, 2000

Nostalgia can't save
Smashing show at Hill

By Jason Birchmeier
Dai Arts Wtiter
For many students, the recent
Smashing Pumpkins show at Hill
Auditorium was a nostalgic escape from
finals. Much of the packed crowd were
twenty-something students who had
spent their late
teenage years
rocking to the
.s band's two undeni-
Smashing able masterpieces,
Pumpkins 1993's "Siamese
Hill Auditorium Dream" and
April 19. 2000 1995's "Mellon
Collie and the
Infinite Sadness."
Altermative rock
icon Billy
Corgan'sband did-
n't come to Ann
Arbor to revel in
their past success
though. They came to promote
"Machina," their wonderfully creative
new album that features conceptual
songwriting and a dynamic array of blar-
ing guitars. They put a heavy emphasis
on the new material by playing only
songs from "Machina" for the first half
of the show.
Of course, not everyone in attendance'
was interested in hearing songs off
"Machina." In fact, the album hasn't
been doing well at all by Smashing
Pumpkins standards. Since its debut at
number three on Billboard, the album's
sales have dropped exponentially, most
recently falling to number 93 in its
eighth week. For an idea about how poor
of a position this is, consider the fact that
it's sandwiched between a children's

album "Radio Disney Jams Vol. 2," and
the relatively unknown metal band
Kitte.
It's difficult to explain the lack of
interest in the new Pumpkins album.
"Machina" has some great lyrics penned
by Corgan that focus on his struggles as
a waning pop star. Furthermore. the
music sounds amazing with the double-
barrel guitar attack of Corgan and James
lha resonating with fuzzy distortion and
soic brilliance, mostly due to the pro-
duction genius of Corgan, Flood and
Alan Moulder.
A few songs into the band's perfor-
maice at Hill, one got the sense that
Smashing Pumpkins are a studio band.
Their shows during the Mellon Collie
tour before the infamous drug overdose
had been monolithic moments of erupt-
ing guitar hedonism. But besides that
interrupted tour, the band has a reputa-
tion for putting on a lackluster show. No
matter how much tile group invests in
sound equipment and how much they
concentrate ott their music, they cannot
possibly duplicate what they achieve
behind the doors of a big-budget record-
ing studio.
The best songs off"Machina" such as
"The Everlasting Gaze" and "Stand
Inside Your Love" didn't come close to
matching their original luster, sounding
instead like generic overdriven guitar
rock. The mediocre songs off the new
album sounded even worse as Corgan
put more effort into being theatrical than
his singing. Until the band entered the
second half of their show characterized
mostly by their past hits, the show was
just plain sloppy.
It was at this point that Corgan
strapped on his acoustic guitar and went

D'Angelo
delights
fans at Fox
By W. Jacarl Melton
Dal his Witer
"Hoss Does It Feel? "Thats the ques-
tion D'Angelo poses in the similarly
titled song off of
his latest release,
"V o o d o "
Judging frorm e
D Aingeo female members
Fox Theat re of the audience in
the Fox Theatre
Apri 22 2000 on April 22, the
answer was clear:
orgasmic. Froim
the start, it was
obvious that the
audience wod
be as enter-
ing as the perfor-
nance by the
main attraction.
The evening began with the hip-hop
act Dead Prez, a two-man group that
may best be described as a less sophisti-
cated version of Public Enemy. Their
lyrics promote ideas of black power
along with a challenge to today's popu-
lar hip-hop, which seems obsessed with
sex, money and greed. The presence of
Dead Prez's revolutionary stance 4
D'Angelo's sultry persona on the same
bill seemed a poor combination consid-
ering Mos Def was originally listed as
the opening act. Yet in their 20 minute
set, Dead Prez held their own despite the
apparent contradictory nature between
them and D'Angelo.
After a 30-minute break in between
See DANGELO, Page 16

courtesyofsVirgin Recoras
The Smashing Pumpkins, here striking some very Goth poses, tried out their new
material at Hill Auditorium on April 19.

into "Disarm." This instantly attracted
the attention of everyone in attendance,
many of whom had become quite disin-
terested with the new material if not for
the wonderful light show. It must have
been quite amusing for Corgan to look
out at the crowd singing his song like a
gigantic choir of young twenty-some-
things thinking that they were teenagers
once again.
The nostalgia ran deep. For "Today,"
Corgan pretended to sing the first verse,
instead letting the crowd sing for him.
Other classic songs from "Siamese
Dream" such as "Cherub Rock" and
"Mayonnaise" also turned into cute sing-
a-longs. Here and there, the band played

a few new songs such as "Try, Try, Try"
and "I of the Mourning." To Corgan's
delight, the crowd reacted positively to
these songs thanks in part to the linger-
ing euphoria generated by the preceding
crowd favorites.
Throughout the show Corgan also
managed to spew ideology to the crowd
centering on the sort of topics he deals
with much more lucidly on his new
album. In other words, he rambled on
about how popular culture and the cor-
porate-minded music industry is trying
to replace rock with new trends, speak-
ing specifically of Britney Spears-types
and commercialization.
See PUMPKINS, Page 16

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