Billy Corgan and co will go on tour later this year.
With the Smashing Pumpkins often being regarded as one of the most important bands to emerge in the 1990s, expectations were understandably high that the recently announced reunion tour involving the majority of the original line-up would prove to be a major draw. Sadly, however, evidence appears to suggest the contrary.
While shows in the band’s hometown of Chicago and LA have sold out, Consequence of Sound reports that a bit of research from a Twitter user has revealed that a large number of tickets are still available for several US shows including in areas such as Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh and Omaha. So, considering the high regard that the band is held in, what could be the reason behind the seemingly lukewarm interest in the upcoming gigs?
The lack of involvement of original member D’Arcy Wretsky and the rather public fallout around it in recent weeks may not have helped matters and – to be frank – her omission does seem to call into question just whether it can be referred to as a genuine reunion.
That said, as Bryan Rolli points out in an article for Forbes, the Guns N' Roses "Not In This Lifetime" reunion hardly struggled to draw in fans despite the tour not featuring the entire original line-up. There is of course an argument that the difference with LA’s finest is that Axl and co are more of a brand than a band these days, with the group’s exploits being part and parcel of rock folklore and their logo splashed across a host of merchandise from T-shirts to coasters. Casino sites Mr Green even carries an official online slot created by NetEnt to celebrate the band’s legacy. Perhaps, when a band reaches that magnitude, the omission of a couple of band members simply becomes less important.
Another issue, however, may be whether there is truly unfinished business when it comes to the Smashing Pumpkins. Bryan Rolli of Forbes makes the point that the group has gone through a number of iterations and Corgan has always been the driving force. This arguably puts this current reunion at odds with others in the past decade like those of Blur or the Stone Roses, which hinged on the shedding of years of emotional baggage and the healing of old wounds between band members who each brought an indispensable element to their sound. Such a narrative also gave the subsequent shows a real power, with fans almost feeling like they had the chance to see the groups enjoy a "happily ever after" moment which was essentially decades in the making.
Ultimately, there could be a host of reasons as to why tickets for the Smashing Pumpkins shows are apparently not selling, but it will be fascinating to see how the issue plays out. Perhaps Corgan’s decision to reach out to fans and suggest he is keen for input on the setlist could prove to be a catalyst which will help to boost interest? Alternatively, could it simply be the case that the public’s love affair with reunions is coming to an end? We will have to wait and see.
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