Music hot, crowd tepid

On the fourth night of Asheville’s biggest concert series in recent history, Billy Corgan and crew eased in the brutally hot evening at The Orange Peel. Appearing alone on stage with only a 12-string guitar; Corgan, gaunt, awkward and out of proportion, summed up the feeling of a lot of listeners in the audience with nine simple words aimed at the lackadaisical mix of scenesters and beautiful people.

“I’m doing the best I can, so f**k you,” was the simple refrain of the opener of Wednesday night’s show.

It’s normal to have some excitement when coming to a show. It’s normal to feel the need to let everyone know that you are in possession of one of the hottest tickets in town—but what’s not normal is people spending the entire evening taking pictures of themselves drinking beer with other beautifully quaffed friends rather than to actually listen to the band many people have jumped through hoops to see.

After 3 acoustic songs, including a lovely, country-inspired, full band number, the Pumpkins raced into material mostly from their new album Zeitgeist, as well as a few classics.

There were moments of true revelation; “United States,” Saturday evening’s set opener, was placed in the middle of the show, and still managed to keep the interest of one of the worst audiences this reviewer has ever been a part of.

This was an “oldies” crowd, and The Pumpkins are doing their best to avoid being an oldies act.

Maybe it was the scorching heat inside of the club, maybe it was the long lines to the bars. But something was preventing the stuffy audience from having fun inside of the equally stuffy club. But the Pumpkins were on fire.

The band’s set consisted mostly of its harder-edged material; but it also displayed Corgan’s fascination with The Cure on songs such as “Bleeding the Orchid.”

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4 thoughts on “Music hot, crowd tepid

  1. Well, maybe its because these people were seeing a show with a fairly talentless band (you have to be deaf to think that bassist can play her instrument) in an incredibly poor venue, with attrociaous (how would you spell it?) sound. sound that is even poorer than my spelling. or than your “journalistic skills”. sound that sounds like you are listening to a crappy band who plays too loud in a giant, accoustically inept warehouse.

    god, the orange peel sucks

  2. youbettie

    One just just a crowd note…not going to even touch the previous comment. Except to say that a bassist that hot doesn’t need much talent.

    Last night, Monday, the crowd was in pretty good spirits. Maybe it was the steady downpour of rain as folks lined up to get in?

    It started off pretty slow with the opening band…a Strokes wanna be group called The Films…shoulda been called The Tight Skinny Pants Band, because that’s about all they were bringing. I actually saw one guy in the front row, reading the MountainX and checking out local real estate during their set, draped over the railing. Golf claps…

    Anyway, When the pumpkins came on things changed, and…from what I could tell…everyone was pretty into it. Enjoying both old and new songs alike, shouting out, and making a good bit of noise.

    Not bad for a Monday…

  3. Justin

    Yeah, Monday was a great show! The crowd was wild… fascist Orange Peel employees were throwing out anybody crowd surfing or moshing.

    I guess the Deftones will never come to Asheville…

  4. James P. Fisher

    Full disclosure: I work at Xpress and Orange Peel is a client.

    Now, my thoughts on the show I saw Tuesday 7-3: Great show, good crowd, lots of music. They played from 10:15 or so to 1:15. Heard all kinds of rearranged old tunes, straight versions of various material and some brand new music. Since most bands these days seem to put out an hour-plus music and hit the road before the crowd is even out of the club, I was thankful for a good solid night of rawk.

    Everyone had warned me about the volume being crazy loud. I though it was fine,with some tunes getting up there…but,hey, it is ROCK,people!

    The crowd at this show was dancing and singin’ along for the most part. I felt that the energy in the room was pretty high with a few slower moments. Some of that was because Billy the Punkin had some amp problems, but whatever.

    Security was also talked about,but the guy I dealt at the door (who I had never seen before) was pleasant and quick. I saw no other “fascist” actions in the club. I did see a young girl go down, surely due to allergies or something “she ate”…the Orange Peel employee carfully picked her up and got her help.

    Anyway, it was a great night and I was glad to be there. Keep the shows coming!

    ps The bass player WAS pretty weak. When Corgin had his amp prob., he asked her to solo a bit and she froze like the proverbial deer-in-headlights. I thought of the 200 or so folks in the crowd who would have torn it up in the same situation. Oh well, the world won’t end with one less bass solo!

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