Home Gigs Gig Review : The Smashing Pumpkins – Weezer -Teen Mortgage – 3Arena, Dublin

Gig Review : The Smashing Pumpkins – Weezer -Teen Mortgage – 3Arena, Dublin

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Review and Photography : Stephen Brophy for MPM

The Smashing Pumpkins & Weezer arrived in Dublin on the 3rd date of the European part of their The World Is A Vampire Tour.

Two massive and very popular bands in their own right coming together was always going to be a popular draw in the Irish capital, but damn the 3 Arena was really packed to the gills tonight for this headline show, and it was a celebration of alt rock, people will always have their own favourite band/performance, but coming at the show from a neutral perspective it was just a great night, 2 very different bands that are ultra professional and know how to hit their fan base with what they want, which is great as you almost get 2 different shows on the one night.

Opening the show are a punk rock duo from San Diego called Teen Mortgage and considering the early door time they have thankfully a very decent sized crowd to play to and they make the most of it with a high energy set.

Spitting venom with just vocals, guitar and really powerful drumming makes people focus a little more on what they band are about I think and they go down really well during their short and aggressive set, keep an eye on these guys as they continue to grow in popularity, great way to start the night.

Weezer take to the stage and there’s a crackling of electricity in the crowd who have no doubt been waiting for been waiting for their return since 2022’s performance with Fall Out Boy and Green Day in Marlay Park.

The tempo is quite often a little sedate, but that’s how a lot of their music is and it doesn’t detract in any way from the performance, still a band will a lot of quality and in Rivers Cuomo they have a frontman that’s completely in control, exudes quality and along with the rest of the band has the ability to switch things up a few gears during their set to get people moving a bit more.

The venue is full now and from the first song to the last the band hold the crowd in the palm of their hand, I’ve always wondered how a lot of the songs transition live and the reality is it’s seamless, with a band that have been just so creative with their music videos people have to remember that without the substance of quality songs to back it up there’s nothing..

Songs like ‘Hash Pipe’, ‘Pork And Beans’ and ‘island In The Sun’ really keep things moving along and to be honest I don’t think you’d need to be a big fan of the band to love this set, Weezer are a band that have easily identifiable music and songs that just click with people who may have forgotten some of them.

The band are such a solid unit and by the time they get to the likes of ‘Say It Ain’t So’ or the obvious closer ‘Buddy Holly’ the venue is alive with the crowd singing the songs themselves so loud, you can tell the band love it and why wouldn’t they, I’m sure they will have an Irish date on their next Tour and a band like this will always be welcome to return to these shores.

The band are such a tight and solid unit that everything looks effortless for them. They always throw in a cover or two and tonight we are treated to their version of the Hole track ‘Celebrity Skin’, cracking stuff in a set that just flies by, hard to believe that they played 20 songs and always a good sign in a concert of just how good they have been, great stuff.

This leads us on after a short break to the mighty Chicago alt rockers, The Smashing Pumpkins, a band that that have had no shortage of controversy over the years, line up changes and more importantly brilliant music that has stood the test of time alongside new music that has it’s on vibrance and remains relevant in the 21st Century. Having been one of the biggest bands on the planet in the 1990s I don’t know how you even go about putting together a setlist, but tonight’s one is a killer for me.

Right I’m going to say something a bit silly now, but I could have left after the 4th song and been a happy man, ‘Today’ remains for me not only my favourite tracks from Siamese Dream but also from that decade, the simplistic yet oh so clever intro brings a smile to my face every time I hear it, one of those go to songs in my collection for sure, but I’m off on a tangent. The band have so many huge songs how and where to place them in the set must be a nightmare.

The bands core still remains as Corgan, Iha and Chamberlin and it’s a creative and massively talented group and has been added to with bassist Jack Bates, keys and vocals of Katie Cole and the latest addition to the mob, Kiki Wong as a second or third guitarist, which for me gives an extra depth and power to some of the more aggressive songs in the set, which lifts it all to an even higher level. Main man Billy Corgan is on great form both vocally and on guitar, and has that zest needed for this musical adventure, perhaps he’s just in a really good place with his children on tour with him and enjoying watching them have fun and dance along to a song or two on stage or in the wings.

It is really hard not to just be drawn to your favourite songs on the night, ‘Tonight, Tonight’, ‘1979’ and the full on versions of ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ and ‘Zero’ are just wonderful, and definitely highlights as can be seen by the crowd interaction, singing and dancing all over the venue. I did expect a little more movement generally around the venue, but maybe it’s just because it’s a Monday night, still don’t mistake that for the crowd not being into the music, they are. For me I also love the contrast with the material off the latest opus Atum which sounds so very different, but the songs sounded great live and the band have to be as happy with that as anything else tonight.

There is an appreciation of the audience from the whole band and it’s genuine, not over the top and sadly just like Weezer’s set this one has flown by in what seems like a few minutes. For the 2nd half of the set I took up a position towards the back of the venue and just watched people jumping, dancing and singing along with their favourite songs, a pleasure in itself.

From the moment the band hit the stage to the final moments of ‘Zero’ the band were totally engaged, powerful and had that edge that lifts them above so many of their peers, an absolutely storming set for me that just got better as it went along. So often it’s really difficulty to integrate new music to a set for a band with their hugely successful back catalogue, especially when styles and sounds have changed over their career, but I think a lot of thought went into creating this set, it flows brilliantly and has a great balance closing out with enough aggression to bind it all together.

Not a bad performance from any band tonight and lets hope we get to see them all back here again soon, I went home with ‘Disarm’ rolling around my head and it’s been stuck there ever since. The Smashing Pumpkin’s showed tonight why they achieved huge success in the 90’s and why they have remained hugely popular and relevant to this day. And band just like that I’m hearing other tracks from the set in my head, please come back soon.

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