The Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour at Viejas Arena Labor Day weekend helped us live out our American Dream in the flesh.

Playing for a consecutive three hours straight between costume changes and the best video production I’ve ever seen, Billy Corgan brought every hit the fans craved without missing a note.

The first time I heard the Smashing Pumpkins, I was in fifth grade. My brother had won a Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness box set from Jamba Juice for guessing the right amount of bubble gum balls in a jar and boy, was I glad he won. That album helped me cope with preteen sadness and angst. Twenty years later, I got to geek out to all my favorite songs at Viejas Arena located at my old college, San Diego State University.

Opening up the show with “Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness,” the title track to the album that I grew up on, Billy Corgan stepped out in a metallic shiny skirt covering half his pants with sparkly silver Doc Martens to match. Videos of Billy’s childhood and teenage years rolled on the screen with devil notes written all over them. Then “Disarm” came on tearing our hearts out from our spine as we watched more videos of Billy growing up through his turmoiled youth.


The first outfit change came with a cover of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” as Corgan appeared in a giant hooded cape dazzling the crowd. His performance would have made Bowie proud. They played hit after hit with perfect sounding acoustics. The production was so well thought out that at one point I found myself more infatuated with the blonde babe dancing on the screen then I was with the Pumpkins. Not saying they didn’t bring everything they had, but damn she was hot.

Mark McGrath even came up on the screen as a creepy clown introducing several songs. Throughout the show Corgan was quite enjoying himself laughing and making remarks to the crowd between sets. At one point he called out some people vaping, poking fun at them, hoping the vapers wouldn’t mess with his IG.

The Smashing Pumpkins Reunion was nothing short of the greatest day I’ve ever known, can’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow’s much too long–that is, if there’s not a Smashing Pumpkins show to see.

Photos by: Sylvia Borgo
Review by: Rachel Frank