Recap/Photos: Alt-Rock’s Past, Present, Future Collide at Smashing Pumpkins’ Hollywood Bowl Tour Finale with Jane’s Addiction, Poppy


Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

With temperatures in the upper 50s, it was an uncommonly chilly evening at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Saturday — but the weather found Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan in his element.

Clad in the customary long, black gown the singer/guitarist routinely wears for live performances, he commented from the stage that he was definitely enjoying the atmosphere at the Bowl, where the Pumpkins closed out their two-month Spirits on Fire tour with special guests Jane’s Addiction and Poppy.

Corgan’s bout with laryngitis forced a tour stop last week to be postponed until Summer 2023, but his voice came back strong enough for the final few shows on the schedule, including a sold-out finale at the Bowl. The tour, a big endeavor commemorating the renewed activity of the Pumpkins’ core ’90s lineup including guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (alongside guitarist Jeff Schroeder and bassist Jack Bates, son of New Order’s Peter Hook), came as Corgan has been pushing out material from ATUM, a sprawling new “rock opera” spanning three parts (the first part is available now).

Closing the tour with a filled-to-the-brim Bowl had to feel good for Corgan and his band mates, the confirmation of their vitality as a musical force still existing well past the heyday of many of the Pumpkins’ alt/rock contemporaries in the mid to late ’90s — and they delivered, after a strong first few hours of support acts.

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Considering the bill of acts, the Spirits on Fire tour really had a “generational” aspect to its lineup, from openers Poppy and Meg Myers to Jane’s Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins. When Jane’s wasn’t able to perform a few shows, Canadian alt/rock band Our Lady Peace subbed in, and by all accounts was a strong choice to pinch-hit for Perry Farrell and his band mates.

Below, enjoy a recap of the show — with photos taken by Jerome Brunet in the latest of his concert photography essays for Rock Cellar.

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

The Hollywood Bowl finale began with Poppy, who took the stage around 6:30 p.m. and promptly confused the audience for 30 mins. That’s a compliment, mind you, as Poppy (real name Moriah Rose Pereira) is an artist without boundaries. Some songs dabble in indie/pop, others heavy, nu-metal angst, others still venturing into straight-ahead K-pop.

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

This makes for a wild live experience that’s even more bewildering to those unfamiliar with her music when they enter the venue.

The still-arriving crowd at the Bowl seemed largely new to the Poppy experience, many eyebrows raising as the band played songs from 2020’s I Disagree (including the Grammy-nominated “Bloodmoney”), 2021’s more alt/rock leaning Flux and her latest EP, Stagger. The buzz has been building for Poppy over the past few years, and there’s no doubt this key opening slot on much of the Spirits on Fire tour opened Poppy up to a wider audience eager to go down the rabbit hole of her unpredictable catalog.

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Poppy, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

For Jane’s Addiction, the Hollywood Bowl finale meant a homecoming for the band, long synonymous with the city at large. Or, as front man Farrell exclaimed at one point (clad in a cowboy costume), “This is our homecoming, we’re gonna fuck you up. Motherfuckers, we’ve been waiting for this.”

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

And while guitarist Dave Navarro was missing from the mix, still dealing with the effects of long COVID, Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age/A Perfect Circle) stepped in for the tour and was a fine complement to Farrell, bassist Eric Avery and drummer Stephen Perkins, with Josh Klinghoffer (Red Hot Chili Peppers/Pearl Jam) providing additional guitar work on a few songs.

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Obviously electrified in front of an adoring hometown audience radiating electricity toward the stage, Jane’s Addiction delivered an 11-song set of classics that made the group rock radio favorites throughout the ’90s, Farrell sashaying around the stage while a host of exotic dancers pranced about, contorting around on swings and adding a sexed-up feel to the visuals to match the band’s simmeringly sensual psychedelia.

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

The conductor of this twisted circus, Farrell at tomes spoke about California sunsets and the clothing line RVCA, did a wine toast to those we’ve lost in recent years (no doubt including his longtime friend Taylor Hawkins, though Farrell didn’t name him specifically), commended the women of Iran for their continued protests against the governmental regime and more.

Jane’s Addiction reportedly has been working on new material, per a post by Avery in August. That’s intriguing, as it’s been 11 years since the band’s most recent album and they haven’t always been the most “active” band as a unit. You’d hardly know that by the stellar, crowd-pleasing performance turned in by the group at the Bowl, though, so it seems the band still has plenty more to do (and, hopefully, any further activity does include a healthy Navarro back in the mix).

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction live at Hollywood Bowl, CA 2022

Jane’s Addiction live at Hollywood Bowl, CA 2022

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane's Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Jane’s Addiction, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

The set list:

Up the Beach
Whores
Ain’t No Right
Ocean Size
Then She Did…
Jane Says
Stop!
Ted, Just Admit It…
Mountain Song
Three Days
Been Caught Stealing

Shortly after 9, the lights dimmed and the instrumental opening to ATUM began the Smashing Pumpkins’ performance. Wordlessly launching into a currently unreleased ATUM song called “Empires,” Corgan and his band mates powered through a 17-song set of signature songs, some of their biggest hits of era-defining alt/rock radio classics and a few choice “deep cuts,” a career-spanning set with an absolutely dazzling light display matched to individual songs.

This was most impressive with “Cyr,” a cascade of waterfalling lights flashing around behind the band during the disco/glam-styled title track to the Pumpkins’ 2020 double-album, and a dark and quite intense cover of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.”

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Essentially reinventing the song with a heavy, sludgy makeover, the swirling light display accentuated the performance, which was both unexpected and thoroughly impressive — far more than just a randomly included cover song. It was a makeover.

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

The Smashing Pumpkins, of course, is essentially entirely Billy Corgan. He’s the constant, driving force behind the name, the imagery, the creativity. And while there’s no activity in Smashing Pumpkins land unless he wants there to be, this tour let the other folks on stage — Iha, Chamberlin, Schroeder, backing vocalist Katie Cole and more — have their moments to shine.

Click here to pre-order ATUM on 3-CD from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order ATUM on 4-LP from our Rock Cellar Store

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Between songs, Corgan would saunter off-stage for a quick breather, Iha (in a sequined blue suit, dressed up for the occasion) filling the time by addressing the crowd. In fact, Corgan didn’t speak to the audience until “Eye,” the eighth song in the set, allowing the music to speak for itself (and the other musicians to have their time in the spotlight).

It worked quite well, and was exemplary of the onstage chemistry on full display on this tour.

Corgan and his colleagues also welcomed some special guests to the stage for this tour sendoff. Pop duo The Veronicas provided backing vocals on “Eye,” while none other than Mike Garson (of David Bowie fame) played keys on a wonderful acoustic version of “Tonight, Tonight.”

The most unexpected collaboration of the night saw Willow Smith take the stage to play rhythm guitar on “Cherub Rock.”

For the ATUM song “Beguiled,” the tune that introduced this new era for the band, Corgan’s children came out and danced around in the costumes they wore in the song’s music video. Two wrestlers/bodybuilders also seen in the video turned up and danced around a bit as well.

The final song of the night was the Siamese Dream standout “Silverfuck,” which the ensemble morphed into an extended jam with a prolonged saxophone solo from Frank Catalano. It was a wild way to close an excellent night under the stars and put the finishing touches on a great tour with an eclectic mix of acts representing alt/rock’s past, present and future.

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

Smashing Pumpkins, Hollywood Bowl Nov. 19, 2022 (© Jerome Brunet)

The set list:

Empires
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Today
We Only Come Out at Night
Cyr
Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover)
Solara
Eye (with The Veronicas)
Ava Adore
Tonight, Tonight
(with Mike Garson) Play Video
Starla
Stand Inside Your Love
Cherub Rock (with WILLOW)
Zero
1979
Beguiled
Silverfuck

At the moment, the Smashing Pumpkins don’t have additional tour dates planned into the new year — but with such an electrifying tour in the rear-view mirror and a huge new album coming soon (not to mention Corgan’s weekly podcast breaking down the concept behind ATUM), it seems safe to assume much more activity is coming in the months ahead.

Stay tuned!

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