The Smashing Pumpkins unleash a rain-soaked night of rock in Holmdel, NJ (recap, photos)

Despite the persistent rain, music fanatics gathered eagerly at the PNC Bank Arts Center for a night of rock and alternative music featuring Rival Sons, Interpol, and the always amazing, The Smashing Pumpkins.

Rival Sons kicked off the evening with a burst of energy, opening their set with the familiar riff of “Feral Roots.” The crowd, well-prepared with rain gear, immediately got into the groove. The band’s mix of bluesy rock and raw charisma had fans dancing and head-banging.

Their setlist featured a good blend of old favorites and newer tracks, including “Memphis Sun” of their debut album, ‘Before the Fire.’ Jay Buchanan’s vocals were as powerful and soulful as ever, cutting through the amphitheater. Even his tambourine could be heard from miles away. Despite the weather, Rival Sons’ performance was electric.

Interpol took the stage under a steady drizzle, creating a fittingly moody atmosphere for their set. Opening with “Toni,” the band’s signature east coast indie sound resonated through the venue. A great song to start, with a build that really gets the crowd ready for what’s next. The rain seemed to enhance the ambiance as they played tracks like “Evil” and “Obstacle 1.”

Interpol’s setlist was a nod to their classics, featuring songs like “Slow Hands” and “All the Rage Back Home.” Paul Banks’ enigmatic stage presence and the band’s atmospheric music provided a perfect soundtrack for the night. His sunglasses almost made me think I was at a Daft Punk show.

Smashing Pumpkins closed the evening with a bang, starting their set with the crowd thumping heavy ass song, “The Everlasting Gaze.” By this time the rain finally stopped, and honestly, at PNC the sound is always better on the lawn. The band’s performance was as nostalgic as ever, with hits like “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and an electrifying version of “Today.” That’s when they reminded us how “Today” was 30 years old! Pretty incredible it’s just amazing as it is now as it was then. By the way, the crowd was FILLED with parents and their kids, that’s good parenting.

Billy Corgan’s distinctive vocals, Jimmy Chamberlin’s distinctive drum sound, James Iha’s incredible guitar skills, and the rest of the band’s powerful playing is really a sight to see. Songs like “Tonight, Tonight” (intimate acoustic version between Corgan and Iha) and their impressive cover of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” carried a unique weight as the crowd responded with heartfelt enthusiasm.

In the end, despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, the music prevailed, and it was super close to being a sold-out crowd. Like I always say, those Smashing Pumpkins are quite Smashing. Also, if you never saw their appearance on ‘The Simpsons,’ I highly recommend it.

P.S. – Billy Corgan, never stop being the vampire you truly are.

Check out live photos of The Smashing Pumpkins, Interpol, and Rival Sons from their show at the PNC Bank Arts Center on August 24th via the gallery below. All shots by Dylan Lappin. Click to enlarge photos.

Rival Sons:


The Smashing Pumpkins:

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2 thoughts on “The Smashing Pumpkins unleash a rain-soaked night of rock in Holmdel, NJ (recap, photos)”

  1. Great show. Very nicely-written review. “Today” was electric. “Tonight, Tonight” was Billy and James on acoustic.

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