Friday, August 29, 2014

My Billy Corgan Ravinia Setlist (Part Two)

In part one of this series, I discussed the trials and tribulations I went through to become and continue being a Smashing Pumpkins fan.  I feel that all of those years of toiling in the trenches to support my favorite band gives me a unique qualification to suggest a set list for Billy Corgan to play in his upcoming Ravinia appearance this weekend. We're going to explore the first ten songs.

To Shiela
This is the first track off the Adore record. Billy used to open up shows with this acoustically and I figured this would be a fantastic choice to open up the Ravinia concert with.  It can be played acoustically and electrically as well.  If Billy wanted to start out acoustic, as his set has been advertised, then this is a great track to jump off with. He could play this solo or with the band (I'd prefer solo).

Pox
The American Gothic EP was released shortly after the Ashville, NC residencies documented in the Pumpkins DVD If All Goes Wrong featuring studio versions of songs written during that era.  This song is a meaty acoustic-based song that I felt would do well in a supportive format of Ravinia.  Lyrically, there's a lot of attitude behind it.  The band could really rawk it out but keep the vibe of a controlled storm brewing - just waiting to explode into full blown rawk - but not.  Also, this would be a hidden gem for the true b-side loving fan like myself in the crowd.

Of A Broken Heart
This track is a nice acoustic track from Corgan's post-SPv1 band Zwan's sole release Mary Star of the Sea.  I threw this song into the mix because it would showcase that era in his career.
Muzzle
This track from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness has always found its way into SP shows as an acoustic-only track played by Billy by himself.   Not only is it a good song sans a band but it would soothe the ravenous, bandwagon fan out there expecting to hear a popular song from their youth being played by the man himself.  At this point, he's satisfied the hardcore Corgan fan and catered a bit to the casual fan.
  
Bye June
As silly as the lyrics are to this song, I still love it.  Apparently this was one of Billy's many 4 track home studio recordings that got a bit of polish in a formal studio and released as-is.  It can popularly be found on the Lull EP.

Pale Horse
Oceania was well received by fans and critics both.  This song to me is a very Pumpkins song with the "Thorazine...Thorazine"/"please come back" hook in it.  I could hear a bit of Adore in this song for some reason.  It would work well acoustically and would cast a favorable light to playing the newer material well.
Widow Wake My Mind
Trying to find a song that captured the songwriting aesthetic attempting to be shown in the beginning of the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project is difficult as I still haven't embraced the songs released completely.  With that said, I felt it was important to find something reminding people what Billy was trying to do in the aftermath of carrying the Pumpkins on his sole shoulders.  The psychedelia of early Pumpkins seems to drip a bit form this song as well.  I don't know how well received this would've been at Ravinia except from those of us who are familiar with it.

Today
This is solely on the list as it was arguably the Pumpkins' greatest hit.  This is to appease those who want the 1992-1994 Siamese Dream era to be relived for three and a half minutes in 2014.


Ugly
I absolutely LOVE this song from the Aeroplane Flies High box set.  Lyrically, it's such a strong view into what women must deal with on a daily basis with their body issues.  This song works acoustically and can be carried just on lyrics, melody, and acoustic guitar.

Smiley
This is, as Billy used to say in early Pumpkin shows, "an oldie but a goodie".  The formal studio version was recorded in London at the BBC as part of the John Peel Sessions.  It was also played a lot by the band both acoustically and electrically.  I like this song in the set to showcase the early days of the band.


In part III, we will explore the rest of the list :)

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