Tuesday November 15, 2022 I cut out of work early to head to the Chase Center in San Francisco, California. The Chase Center is most commonly known as the home to the Golden State Warriors and now the Spirits on Fire tour with Poppy, Janes Addiction and the Smashing Pumpkins. This was my first time at this venue and my first time covering the Smashing Pumpkins, While I have covered Janes Addiction numerous times, but this time was different.
After way too long on the freeway and having my car then checked out by (I guess) a bomb sniffing dog. I managed to get in to the venue and promptly got lost. No one there seemed to know where I was supposed to go. The Chase Center is pretty massive and somewhere around 6 floors. I eventually found my way to a side balcony and that is where I posted up for Janes. But with all the confusion, I missed Poppy who opened.
The most notable difference was they were without Dave Navarro this tour due to him dealing with long haul Covid. Filling his shoes for the evening was Troy Van Leeuwen and Josh Klinghoffer. This tour also welcomed back Eric Avery on bass for his first tour back with them in something like 12 years. Perry Farrell even had a bit of an emotional moment welcoming him back in to the fold. This was my second time seeing them with Eric. The first time was all the way back in 1991 at the first Lollapalooza. Steven Perkins did what Steven Perkins does best, plays those drums. Even after all these years, he still plays these songs with an epic intensity. This man loves what he does and it shows.
Perry’s vocals are always spot on and tonight was no different. He never disappoints. Opening with “Up the Beach”, Janes Addiction blasted through their 11 song set ranging through three of their studio albums. “Ocean Size” brought out Josh Klinghoffer’s tour debut playing rhythm guitar to Troy’s lead. My highlights of the evening was “Ted, Just Admit it….”, “The Mountain Song” and “Three Days”.
The dancers are always a sight to behold at any Janes stop and this time was no different. Part burlesque, part gymnastics the dancers danced on a catwalk above the band as well as doing contortionist acts side stage on a set of monkey bars. Also missing from this tour was the suspension artists that flew above the band in previous years.
Janes Addiction are:
Perry Farrell – vocals
Eric Avery – bass
Steven Perkins – drums
Troy Van Leeuwen – guitar
Josh Klinghoffer – guitar
1). Up the Beach
3). Had a Dad
4). Ocean Size (with Josh Klinghoffer)(Tour debut)
5). Then She Did… (with Josh Klinghoffer)
6). Jane Says
8). Ted, Just Admit It…
9). Mountain Song (with Josh Klinghoffer)
10). Three Days (with Josh Klinghoffer)
11). Been Caught Stealing
Smashing Pumpkins were awesome! Coming off of a cancelled date in Portland, Oregon, Billy’s voice sounded rested and strong in San Francisco. Billy said he spent the previous day (a scheduled day off) getting IV’s and blood transfusions and what better place to get that vampire blood than San Francisco. I am pretty sure he was joking.
Opening with “Starla”, the crowd went nuts and kept that energy for the rest of the evening. The second song was one of two new ones from their forthcoming album Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts and was called “Empires”. The other new track was the next to the last song and was called “Beguiled”. Both these tracks are true to the Pumpkins sound and after hearing these tracks, I am sure Pumpkins fans will love this new album.
Filling out the set were Smashing Pumpkins classics including a amazing acoustic version of “Tonight, Tonight” and a stylized version of the Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime”. The band was on point and Billy’s voice held strong. Only in “1979” his voice seemed a little gravelly but, recovered well for the last 2 songs. Whatever he was doing to get his voice back in shape, it sure helped.
At the end of the show, Billy stepped out on to the big floor speakers that were in the photo pit and greeted fans lucky enough to be in the front row. The overall performance was a spectacle to behold. The sound was great and the lightshow was pretty impressive as well. Next time, I will know the venue better so I don’t get lost.
Smashing Pumpkins are:
Billy Corgan – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass
James Iha – guitars, bass, vocals
Jimmy Chamberlin – drums
Jeff Schroeder – guitars, keyboards
3). Bullet With Butterfly Wings
5). We Only Come Out at Night
7). Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover)
10). Ava Adore
11). Tonight, Tonight (Billy and James acoustic)
12). Stand Inside Your Love
13). I of the Mourning
14). Cherub Rock
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Photographer of about 10 years, I have been shooting concerts for about 8 of those years. I started to get serious about concert photography about 6 or 7 years ago and now try to shoot as many as I can. I shoot mostly rock but, have done some country and big band stuff. I love music and since I am nowhere close to being a musician, this is a way I can be a small part of what, in the words of Henry Rollins, “gets me through the highs, the lows and everything in between”.