The Pumpkins smash the Cain’s

A sellout crowd welcomed Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins back to the Cain’s Ballroom Friday night, and it didn’t take long to see why tickets sold out in less than a half hour. A long line extended along Main Street in anticipation of the Pumpkins’ first Tulsa show in 14 years. Shortly after the doors opened and as the crowd filed in, Los Angeles based Cherri Bomb took to the stage to open the show.

Made up of four teenage girls with a hard-rocking attitude, Cherri Bomb immediately jumped into an entertaining set that instantly commanded the audience’s attention. One observer compared the group to a modern day version of 1970’s band The Runaways.

Their set included well performed covers of Cage the Elephant’s “In One Ear”, Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” and Veruca Salt’s “Volcano Girls”. Cherri Bomb closed out their set with their new single “Spin” that drew loud applause from the crowd. They put on a great show, especially considering that most of the members are still in middle school. 

Cherri Bomb photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

Oklahoma City’s The Pretty Black Chains took the stage following the Cherri Bombs and kept the building crowd entertained as they awaited the night’s main event. The Chains provided a very loud sound, that worked nicely. The only downside to this group was the inability to understand the majority of lead singer Kellen McGugan’s vocals due to the level of the instruments and his high-pitched sound.

The Pretty Black Chains photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

After a short break, the stage was finally set for The Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan took to the stage and launched into “A Song for a Son” as three large towers of light backlit his performance. They followed with “Astral Planes” before two large, mirror-clad fans were revealed on the back corners of the stage for “Today”. 

The Pumpkins, playing with a relatively new lineup, highlighted by 20 year-old drummer Mike Byrne displayed Corgan’s trademark sound that propelled him into the spotlight in the early 90’s. Nicole Fiorentino was spot on with the bass, as was Jeff Schroeder on guitar. Corgan showcased not only his vocal talents, but also launched into many guitar solos that brought wild cheers, including one that he played with his teeth.

When the time came for a break, Corgan introduced his band, going through the lineup before saying “and I’m Tommy Duncan”, a reference to The Texas Playboys’ singer. Corgan then explained to his band that he was a huge Bob Wills fan as he pointed to the banner above his head that reads “Home of Bob Wills.” 

“Bob Wills was a musical pioneer,” said Corgan. “If we ever do a residency, it will be right here,” he said to the crowd’s approval. Corgan went on to praise his band mates, saying that he truly has a great band. “I wish I could have said that before,” he added.

The Pumpkins continued into their set that in total lasted well over two hours, including older hits “Ava Adore”, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”, and “Tonight, Tonight”. A three-song encore opened with Corgan and Cherri Bomb lead singer Julia Pierce center stage playing “Landslide” acoustically. The final two songs of the night seemed like a never ending jam session as they played “The Fellowship” followed by an extensive version of “Gossamer”.

The Smashing Pumpkins photo gallery.


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

Overall, it was a great performance by a new supporting cast that is just coming together with Corgan. The sound was excellent and Corgan’s vocals were right on the entire night. Give this group a little while longer and they should be back on top soon. 

For the capacity crowd at the Cain’s on Friday, however, it was as if the Pumpkins never left the top.