Pumpkins for Halloween

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

As if there weren't already enough Halloween parties this Friday night, Smashing Pumpkins threw their hat into the ring a few weeks ago by announcing a special acoustic show at Newport Music Hall.

This seems like a surprising move. Billy Corgan and his band last played Columbus just over a year ago, and few bands of such magnitude return here so soon. Furthermore, with no apparent connections in Columbus, this city seems like a random location for a special one-off acoustic show. So what did we do to deserve Pumpkins on Halloween?

The answer isn't abundantly clear, and spokespeople for the band were unavailable, but PromoWest spokeswoman Amy Cooper illuminated the situation as much as she could.

PromoWest, the promotions company that books the Newport, hosted the Pumpkins at the much larger LC Pavilion last year. When the band approached PromoWest about playing Columbus again, the company assumed they would host the show at the LC. But Corgan and company specifically requested the Newport because it's more intimate and has years of history behind it.

The Pumpkins are using the Newport show to kick off their 20th-anniversary tour, a series of concerts at smaller venues with setlists that span the band's entire career. (Unfortunately, original members James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky remain estranged.) Corgan wanted to play venues he hadn't played in years and make the shows into exclusive events, Cooper said.

So the Pumpkins aren't exactly making a special trip for the express purpose of playing Columbus. But the full-blown anniversary tour officially starts Saturday in Cleveland, so we can reasonably conclude that the acoustic show is indeed a unique engagement, with renditions of songs you won't hear anywhere else.

Yes, Columbus, Billy Corgan thinks you're special.

Pumpkin picks

What are the odds you'll hear these songs at Friday's acoustic show?

"Disarm"? Likely. It's the band's biggest ballad, but Corgan may feel he has outgrown it or some nonsense like that. He used to be a little boy

"1979"? Maybe. Corgan busted out this Mellon Collie jam on acoustic guitar last time the Pumpkins rolled through town. Would he do it again? He'd be wise to.

"Adore"? Probably. This seems like a perfect candidate for an acoustic makeover, even if it ain't that great of a song.

"Today"? Maybe. It's a huge hit, and it would seem to transfer to the acoustic setup. But is it too obvious?

"Stand Inside Your Love"? Perhaps. Not sure how many people remember this song, but it's one of the better latter-day Pumpkins tracks.

Anything off Zeitgeist ? Undoubtedly, though none of the hard-rocking songs seem immediately transferable to the acoustic format.

"Bullet With Butterfly Wings"? Not if Corgan is smart.

Smashing Pumpkins

Friday, Oct. 31

Newport Music Hall, Campus