The Smashing Pumpkins bring “The World Is A Vampire Tour” to North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre in Chula Vista California, with Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons



Summer time and the weather is perfect. Living in Southern California can make a person feel spoiled, the weather is usually perfect, and we get a lot of great shows. On Thursday, August 10, I  was at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre for one of those perfect San Diego nights. The Smashing Pumpkins brought their “The World Is A Vampire” tour to town along with Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons. This would be the first time I had seen or photographed the Rival Sons and Stone Temple Pilots since Jeff Gutt took over as lead vocalist. 

The rules for this show were a little different for each of the bands. The Rival Sons had the standard three in the pit, while the stone Temple Pilots originally stated that they would also be three from the pit, that changed when we arrived at the venue to three from the soundboard. Thanks to friends who shot the tour on previous nights, this did not come as a surprise, what was surprising (in a very pleasant way) was that the Smashing Pumpkins who originally said it would be three from the soundboard had decided to make that five from the soundboard instead. Always love it when I get to shoot more than originally planned for. 

First up was Rival Sons, a band formed in Long Beach, California back in 2006 and who have released seven albums with another one planned for release later this year. There set was really fun to shoot, especially with guitarist Scott Holiday on a different, great looking (and sounding) guitars on the first three songs. The only downside to their set was that many folks were still making their way into the venue when they started. I have said it before and I will keep saying it, don’t miss the opening act, one day you will be able to say that you saw them back when they were just the opening band. 


Rival Sons are:

 Jay Buchanan – lead vocals, rhythm guitars, harmonica

 Scott Holiday – lead guitars, backing vocals

Mike Miley – drums, backing vocals

Dave Beste– bass, backing vocals



Rival Sons Setlist:

1) Feral Roots
2) Sleepwalker
3) Open My Eyes
4) Pressure and Time
5) Darkside
6) Where I’ve Been

Next to take the stage was Stone Temple Pilots. Stone Temple Pilots (or STP as they are commonly referred to) started right here in San Diego back in 1989. The band has had two previous lead vocalists over the years and found their current front man after launching an online audition back in 2016. Jeff has been killing it with them since 2017 and they really seemed to have found the perfect combination of raw vocal talent and rock and roll charisma. He stalked back and forth across the stage trading the spotslight with Dean and Robert. But for me it was the moment when the lighting seem to set Eric Kretz on fire behind the drum kit that really stood out. Just got to love it when the lighting and there action all come together for that split second.

The set included 12 songs spanning five albums and included fan (and my) favorites “Plush”, “Wicked Garden”, and “Interstate Love Song” (which was dedicated to Scott Weiland). There was also a slide guitar solo between “Meadow” and “Big Empty” that was amazing and a jam between “Crackerman” and “Dead and Bloated”. The set was the perfect example of leaving the fans wanting more. 


Stone Temple Pilots are:

Dean DeLeo – guitars 

Robert DeLeo – bass, backing vocals

Eric Kretz – drums 

Jeff Gutt – lead vocals 


*Note: The images of STP shown here are the photos that were approved by management


Stone Temple Pilots Setlist

1) Wicked Garden
2) Vasoline
3) Big Bang Baby
4) Down
5) Meadow
6) Slide Guitar Solo
7) Big Empty
8) Plush
9) Interstate Love Song
10) Crackerman
11) Jam
12) Dead & Bloated
13) Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart
14) Sex Type Thing

It was now time for Smashing Pumpkins and the crowd was ready. The house lights went down and the place erupted.  The Smashing Pumpkins have gone through a lot of changes since their inception back in 1988 with Billy Corgan being the only member to be in the band the entire time, but the current lineup includes James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, both original members. They also have two touring members who help fill out the live sound, Jack Bates and Katie Cole.

The Smashing Pumpkins show is an assault on the senses, with frenetic lighting and their trademark sound which is a unique combination of gothic rock, heavy metal, some punk influences and just about anything else you can imagine. They are one band that can take an often played cover tune and make it all their own as they did with the Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime”. There was also a bit of ray gun guitar playing which I have always associated with Steve Stevens (of Billy Idol fame).

The 21 song setlist pulled from seven different albums with five tunes coming from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, including the giant hit, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” which is also where the name of the current tour comes from (it also won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock performance back in 1997).  It had been a long while since I had seen The Smashing Pumpkins (15 years!!) but after going to this show, I hope to see them back out here during another beautiful summer night soon.


Smashing Pumpkins are:

 Billy Corgan – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass

 James Iha – guitars, bass, vocals

 Jimmy Chamberlin – drums

 Jeff Schroeder– guitars, keyboards

Jack Bates – Bass

Katie Cole – backing vocals, guitar, keyboards



Smashing Pumpkins Setlist:

1) The Everlasting Gaze
2) Doomsday Clock
3) Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover)
4) Today
5) Perfect
6) Disarm
7) The Celestials
8) Purple Blood
9) Ava Adore
10) Tonight, Tonight
11) Bullet With Butterfly Wings
12) This Time
13) Spellbinding
14) Hubble Bubble (Toil and Trouble)(Manfred Mann cover)
15) Jellybelly
16) Empires
17) Hummer
18) Beguiled
19) 1979
20) Cherub Rock
21) Zero


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