View Full Version : Seattle P-I review, great...

04-28-2003, 01:24 PM
Monday, April 28, 2003

Billy Corgan's Zwan intense and, at times, brilliant


Has Seattle forgotten Billy Corgan?

One of the most important, influential and creative rock musicians of the 1990s, Corgan went into a commercial and artistic slump after firing drummer Jimmy Chamberlain in 1996. He kept his band, Smashing Pumpkins, together for several depressing years before throwing in the towel. Even his most devoted fans seemed to be glad it was over.


WHEN: Saturday night

WHERE: Paramount Theatre

Until Zwan.

Along with "A Perfect Circle" bassist Paz Lenchantin and guitarists Matt Sweeney and David Pajo, Corgan has reunited with Chamberlain to make some of the most exciting music of his career. But where were the fans? The Paramount was less than half-filled for a performance that pitched the faithful into the throes of a primal ecstasy that few of today's bands are capable of inspiring.

Saturday's 90-minute concert opened with a long jam on "Mary Star of the Sea," the title cut from their debut album, establishing Zwan as a band dedicated to the joy of playing music. For the first third of the concert, they emphasized their instrumental side, without much regard for the individual songs played.

With "Lyric," the musicians pulled themselves out of one another's worlds and faced the audience for a direct hit. It was dynamite. Then came the bomb. "Jesus, I" began with three-part gospel harmony on a line that recalled James Brown's "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World," and eased into a power-trio jam with Corgan channeling Hendrix, Clapton, Jeff Beck and a dozen other wah-wah magicians of years past. And that was just the onslaught of a blitzkrieg that built relentlessly to a screaming eruption of ritualistic excess. The audience was connecting to the music on an electric level that has not been in style since LSD first became illegal.

With three guitars ringing out, there was never a problem of maintaining intensity throughout the shifting dynamics of Corgan's sometimes brilliant songs. A fiercely scintillating version of "Settle Down" closed the set, and the band encored with the lovely "Of a Broken Heart," delicately sung by Corgan and featuring Lenchantin on violin.

Chicago duo The Children's Hour, joined by David Pajo on drums, opened with a set of offbeat songs. Andy Bar's guitar work showed the influence of Corgan's ballad writing. Audience members were at first hesitant in their enthusiasm, but when Josephine Foster traded her harp for an electric guitar, they were won over. Her vocal approach, which recalled Chan Marshall, was peculiar because of an enchanting disregard for pitch. The duo ended its 30- minute set with a guitar and ukulele duet that had a Pan-Asian feel.

04-28-2003, 02:58 PM
Were are the fans! We are right here thats right

04-28-2003, 07:53 PM
w00t for the people like us who came.

04-28-2003, 09:46 PM
The audience was connecting to the music on an electric level that has not been in style since LSD first became illegal.

Was I at the same show on Saturday night? The crowd on the floor (aside from a few small patches of people) was absolutely lifeless and apathetic.

This description would fit like a glove for last Thursday's incredible performance in Portland, but not Seattle.