So here it is: Our first glimpse of the quasi-reunited Smashing Pumpkins in action. For years, there’s been talk of Billy Corgan getting his original band back together. Olive branches were extended. Surprise-guest cameos were made. And it still didn’t go off without a whole lot of drama. Original bassist D’Arcy Wretzky is not on board with the reunion, and there’s been plenty of public feuding over that. But the mostly-reunion arena tour is still about to happen, and last night, its promotional necessities took the Smashing Pumpkins to The Tonight Show.
Last week, the band shared “Solara,” their first new song as a 75%-back-together band. Rick Rubin produced it, and it’s a numb trudge of a rocker. And today, we can say for certain that it doesn’t exactly come to life onstage. The band’s Tonight Show performance last night was this lineup’s first show, and it was also their first time playing “Solara.” James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin, who were never exactly demonstrative live performers, don’t necessarily look ultra-psyched to be back together, and the song just is what it is.
So perhaps you should direct your attention instead to the online bonus video. This one finds the Pumpkins playing their immortal 1995 rock tantrum “Zero,” and that gives the current live lineup a chance to flex how mightily they can rock. That’s probably the video you want to watch if you’re deciding whether to buy reunion-tour tickets. Check out both videos below.
“Solara” is out now, and the reunion tour kicks off next month in Glendale, Arizona.