Mixing in new material with its 1990s classics, Rock on the Range headliners Smashing Pumpkins provided a combination of nostalgia and exploration at Crew Stadium on Saturday night.
Kicking off its set with their 2012 release Oceania's opening track, "Quasar," before hitting live staples "Cherub Rock" and "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," the alternative veterans spanned their entire catalog for the festival crowd. After a beefed up version of the typically acoustic standout track from Oceania, "The Celestials," the Pumpkins then shifted gears into a trippy cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" to add another dimension to the band's live show.
While fans still yearn for the band's classic lineup of Billy Corgan on vocals and guitar, James Iha on rhythm guitar, D'Arcy Wretzky on bass and Jimmy Chamberlin behind the drum kit; the enigmatic Corgan has surrounded himself with a more-than-capable cast of guitarist Jeff Schroeder, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and 23-year-old drummer Mike Byrne for the Smashing Pumpkins' latest incarnation.
Much like "The Celestials," Corgan opted for a heavier version of the ballad "Disarm," to lead right into the band's epic "Tonight, Tonight," both of which are still in daily rotation on alternative radio stations across the country. After a short interaction with the remaining Rangers, the Pumpkins then launched into the pyschadelic, synth-heavy "Oceania" to provide a slight lull in the alternative icons' set.
Saturday's headliners continued to mix new with old leading up to an encore of the whimsical "Today" from 1993's Siamese Dream to end their 70-minute show. While Corgan and the Pumpkins have clearly outrgrown the nostalgia of the 1990s alternative scene, their classics-- as well as the new material-- continue to shine in a live setting.