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introLive-Music-Hall, Cologne, Germany
20th June 2013
The Smashing Pumpkins & NO

With hits such as ‘Disarm’, ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’ and ‘1979’, Billy Corgan and his band can be counted as one of the biggest rock bands from the nineties. After a break, the band reformed in 2005, releasing the album ‘Zeitgeist’ in 2007. Their newest work blends well with the old classics resulting in the perfect material for a series of live shows. It’s to be called rather unique to see THE SMASHING PUMPKINS in a relatively small venue instead of the big arena’s and festivals! The Live-Music-Hall in Cologne was sold-out months before the show, so this was promising to be a hot boiling event!


NO are heading from Echo Park, Los Angeles, California. The band started as home recording project in July 2011 when a group of friends “began building something to represent their collective ethos of searching for the more authentic elements in music and in themselves”. Their sound is described as “Post-Hymnal Anthematic”. The band’s debut EP, ‘Don't Worry, You'll Be Here Forever’ can be downloaded for free at As influencing musicians, the band names Bill Callahan, Jesus And Mary Chain, Delta Spirit, Leonard Cohen, Stone Roses and The Smiths. NO is Sean, Bradley Hanan Carter (lead singer), Michael, Reese, Ryan, Simon. /


Music & Performance
Sharp at eight, the six musicians of NO entered the stage, starting with ‘Another Life’ from their EP ‘Don't Worry, You'll Be Here Forever’. Already during the first song, the band reminded me of such bands as EDITORS or WHITE LIES, bringing the same musical vibe on stage with dominant drum beats and extraordinary bass lines. The hall by now was already packed and people enjoyed the band’s melodic songs. There were a few songs from the EP presented, like ‘The Long Haul’, but also some new songs from the upcoming first full-length album, recorded in L.A. A song really impressing me was ‘Stay with me’ which was really anthemic. Of course, the band was thanking THE SMASHING PUMPKINS for the opportunity to support them, and they were thanking the audience for their kind welcome, hinting also to the free EP download. After the show, they would be at the merch for some chats as well.


All in all, the set, lasting 45 minutes, was rather slow and mid-tempo, but anything else than boring - except the rather static lights. I liked Brad’s deep baritone voice making a good impression along with moody keys and the mentioned bass lines. I am already looking forward the album release, I am sure it is worth checking out.


Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 7
Total: 7.3 / 10


The Smashing Pumpkins

Chicago based Alternative Rock band THE SMASHING PUMPKINS was founded in 1987. Fronted by singer and main composer Billy Corgen, the band released six albums in the years from 1987 to 2000. The break-through came with the 1993 album ‘Siamese Dream’. After the opulent double album ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’, the band started recording ‘Adore’ in 1997. With ‘Adore’, the band was walking on a new musical path with the use of piano and synthesizer as well as drum computer. But still, guitars are important on the album, but they are less distorted than in the past. After the album ‘MACHINA/The Machines of God’, in 2000 Corgan announced the split of the band. After several other project, the band reunited in 2005.


The latest album is called ‘Oceania’ and was released in June 2012 followed by a US tour in autumn. The band started already working on a new album and after several summer shows, the band will hopefully finish it. Corgan is optimistic to release the album in December 2013. Currently, THE SMASHING PUMPKINS are Billy Corgan (lead vocals, lead guitar, keyboards ), Jeff Schroeder (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Mike Byrne (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Nicole Fiorentino (bass, backing vocals). /


Music & Performance
The first downer for me during this evening: we were told that taking pictures is only allowed from the height of the sound mixing desk. And that was not an easy task. If the Live-Music-Hall is sold out, like it was for this show, it is really packed. With my size, I could not really see anything from my position and so, tried taking some pictures with the camera holding above the heads. But to the show itself now, we got about thirty minutes before the quartet entered the stage at 21:15, starting the show with the first two songs from their current album, ‘Quasar’ and ‘Panopticon’, accompanied by fast moving lights and howling guitars. During the now following show, the light show was a bit sparse I think. Even though it was colourful, the real effect was missing, since there was absolutely no smoke behind the band to reflect some of the light.


It was really hot inside the venue and at the beginning, the people still were a bit lazy, just applauding after the songs. Even though the songs itself, like ‘Starz’ with its little drum solo in the middle, were well-crafted. Things changed a bit when the DAVID BOWIE cover ‘Space Oddity’ was presented, and people loudly sang along the lines “Ground control to major Tom…”. With both hits ‘Disarm’ and ‘Tonight, Tonight’, people were finally awake. Latter one was welcomed during the first sounds with loud cheers and clapping. In the course of the set, several songs from the latest album ‘Oceania’ were presented along with some of the great hits of the band, like ‘Ava Adore’ or ‘Zero’. Corgan’s nasal voice sounded like at the beginning of his career.


The main set ended with ‘Stand Inside Your Love’ and ‘United States’ with its aggressive drumming. It was already quite long but sure there was much more to come, like ‘Today’ or ‘Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans’. This was quite a long show and people enjoyed it a lot. Personally, my joy was a little limited since I found the venue far too packed. I would have loved to see at least the artists every now on than performing and not only listen to their voices and instruments...

01. Intro
02. Quasar
03. Panopticon
04. Starz
05. Rocket
06. Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
07. X.Y.U.
08. Disarm
09. Tonite Reprise / Tonight, Tonight
10. Pinwheels
11. Oceania
12. Pale Horse
13. Bullet with Butterfly Wings
14. Ava Adore
15. One Diamond, One Heart
16. Blank Page
17. Imploding Voice
18. Zero
19. Stand Inside Your Love
20. United States
21. Immogrant Song (Led Zepellin cover)
22. Today
23. Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans
Optionals according to Setlist were among others: The Celestials, 33, Cherub Rock

Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 7
Total: 7.8 / 10


All pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( / / /

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