The greatest Pumpkins tour is here

The Smashing Pumpkins' second and greatest album, Siamese Dream, came out during the summer of 1993. In those days, my older brother and I would listen to the radio with a trigger finger, ready to hit “Record” on a blank cassette in the tape deck whenever a favorite song came on. Over time we amassed a collection of radio hits, and while the fidelity was low and the songs often contained snippets of prematurely chatty DJs, the tapes scratched an itch.

One day my brother debuted a tape featuring “Today,” the biggest single off Siamese Dream and, to this day, probably the Pumpkins' biggest hit. This tape was different, though. Once the final notes of Billy Corgan's many-layered, Big Muff-distorted guitars peeled off, the twinkling notes of “Today” began again. It was an entire cassette tape consisting only of “Today.”

The current “Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour” features three out of the four founding members of the Smashing Pumpkins (Corgan, drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and guitarist James Iha), and the band will be playing songs from Siamese Dream, debut album Gish (the band's second best), double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (bloated but containing moments of brilliance) and less-good records Adore and Machina. So if you're a Smashing Pumpkins fan, this is the tour to see. Yes, Billy Corgan can be insufferable, but he also wrote rock songs so good that tweens and teens found themselves unable to listen to anything else. (Don't miss it)