The Smashing Pumpkins brought their “In Plainsong” tour to San Francisco, along with fellow Chicagoan Liz Phair, who played a solo opening set. The tour features Pumpkins songs reinterpreted into new arrangements, which are mostly acoustic affairs. While it would’ve been great to hear old favorites in their original form, especially some deep cuts and b-sides that were hauled out, the new arrangements breathed some new life into the songs. In particular, the Siamese Dream portion of the setlist was especially fantastic with songs like “Mayonaise,” “Soma,” and “Rocket” getting a treatment that was quieter than the album versions but somehow just as impactful, despite lead singer/guitar maestro Billy Corgan sitting at a piano for these songs and leaving the axe work to guitarist Jeff Schroeder, who more than did the songs justice.
Despite the mid-show focus on Siamese Dream, the setlist was a huge sampling of Corgan’s career, with not just Pumpkins songs but also a few songs from Corgan’s mid-2000s supergroup Zwan, a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” and a rendition of Hole “Malibu,” which Corgan co-wrote (among many other Hole songs if you believe the talk).
Liz Phair’s opening solo set was a great reminder of her songwriting talents, and the set stuck mostly to her Mataodor Records catalog, with “Extraordinary” and “Why Can’t I?” (her big stabs at mainstream success), and a new song, “Our Dog Days Behind Us” being the exceptions.
Liz Phair setlist:
Fuck and Run
Dance of the Seven Veils
Our Dog Days Behind Us
Why Can’t I?
Smashing Pumpkins setlist:
The World’s Fair (Billy Corgan song)
Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
Jesus, I / Mary Star of the Sea (Zwan cover)
Sorrows (In Blue) (Billy Corgan song)
Identify (Natalie Imbruglia cover)
Stand Inside Your Love
Lily (My One and Only)
Malibu (Hole cover)
Angie (The Rolling Stones cover)