Smash Hits Galore
The crowd is jostling together for both a good view and some warmth by the time that Smashing pumpkins take to the stage with 'United States'. Backed by an impressive lighting rig, Corgan looks and sounds to be on fine form, but the crowd appears lacklustre despite this being the first chance for many to have seen the band since their split in 2000.
However, 'Tonight, Tonight' gets a roar of approval from the assembled crowd and whilst there is little leaping around (mainly due to the fact that the majority of the crowd are over 20!) it is obvious that the crowd is pleased to hear such a great song live once again. New single 'Tarantula' goes down well and fits in surprisingly well with the rest of the set.
'Starz' from the latest album Zeitgiest is another track that blends into the set effortlessly and disguises itself as a song that is older beyond its years. 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings', Corgan spitting that unforgettable chorus passionately would always be the highlight of the set and it is every bit as good as the crowd hoped. A much more laid back track from 'Mellon Collie...' emerges in the form of '1979'.
It's only by seeing bands such as Smashing Pumpkins that the state of current music is really driven home. The 'Pumpkins material seems to interlock perfectly, creating a unified sound – a glorious change from bands that so often seem to have a disjointed mish-mash of different instruments that don't quite work together.
Leeds festival is also treated to 'Today' and the wonderfully catchy 'Stand Inside Your Love' and both are greeted with loud cheers.
The set concludes with crowd pleasers 'Disarm' followed by 'Heavy Metal Machine' and just like last year with Pearl Jam headlining Friday's festival, the young scamps forming bands today are shown how it should be done. We can only hope that before the baton is passed on that they learn from the greats of old and can go on to provide blinding sets for generations to come.
Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamblerlin may be the only surviving band members from pre-breakup 'Pumpkins, but it is fantastic to hear all the old Smashing Pumpkins classics live once again. Not the most energetic of sets mainly due to the average age of the crowd, but one that is certainly appreciated. Christmas is never quite the same as you get older and the same could be said for the Smashing Pumpkins- hearing their material again is fantastic, but it just doesn't quite feel the same as it used to. That said, Billy Corgan and co win my headliner of the weekend stamp of approval when compared to the fresh-faced Razorlight or the Red Hot Chili Pepper's set of meandering jams interspersed with a few classic tracks.