Marilyn Manson and The Smashing Pumpkins at Northerly Island, Chicago – August 7th, 2015

Being from Chicago you go to any Smashing Pumpkins show that you can. Whether be the 90’s classic including D’Arcy, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlain, and Billy Corgan, to the 2000’s mystery nobodies with Billy, to the present Billy, Jimmy, and those other guys. The new Smashing Pumpkins shows may be better known as “Billy and Friends” shows, but either case, you still go.

This year the Pumpkins had something to support, their latest album, Bruised Angel Wings. They also co-headlined with another group/person, Marilyn Manson who too had a new album to promote for, The Pale Emperor. They’ve entitles the tour: The End Times Tour

Playing at an outdoor venue at Northerly Island already gave me some mixed reviews. Starting when the sun was just setting, Marilyn Manson even observed his set being played with “birds are flying still”.

This was my first time seeing Marilyn. I’ve been to my fair share of Pumpkins shows, as well as had my eyes, ears, and mind blown at Nine Inch Nails shows, so I expected Manson to be somewhere in the mix.

His opening song was from his latest album called “Deep Six” which was a nice start, however, lacked his growl that made the song resinate to his dedicated fans.

Afterward he went for a “I’m going to tell you a story between each song and my last words will be the title of the next song” kind of theme. So when he discussed modern times he then said, “There’s one thing for sure…none of us are disposable!” Which lead into the song “Disposable Teens“.

The high-light of a Manson show is, he may lack in angst and vocals, but he makes up for it with makeup and costumes. From a cross on a podium to “preach” his Depeche Mode cover of “Personal Jesus” while burning “the bible”, to walking on stage in stilts during the Eurythmics cover of “Sweet Dreams“, Manson knows how to keep his audience wanting more.

His 14 song set was heavier on the older tunes and minimal on the new. Surprisingly there was an assumption that he had an new album since he never mentioned his album.

Entire set-list here


The Smashing Pumpkins were not about the makeup and costuming, they were about the audience, and of course about themselves. Without even a hello, Billy and friends went right into “Cherub Rock” then “Bullet with Butterfly Wings“, “Tonight, Tonight” and then “Ava Adore“. Then Billy said a simple hello, and thank you.

It was then that new material was played with their second single from Bruised Angel Wings, “Drum+Fife” in which Billy dedicated to the men and women vets.

The night’s highlight was an acoustic version of “Disarm” followed by the Stevie Nicks classic, “Landslide“.

There may have been too many jam sessions considering  by 10:56pm Billy stated, “They’re going to shut the light’s out so we only have room for one more” which lead into “Today” but left the audience hoping for more of an encore.

Entire set-list here


After reading articles of Billy Corgan stating Rock is Dead, which Marilyn disproved in his set by stating it’s not, neither is “C*ck”, it was good so hear a good rock show. However, theirs a contradiction to the idea that bands today don’t play like their predecessors.

Even while listening to “1979” from the Pumpkins, and “Ava Adore” you can’t help but hear the technology that is still used today, as well as could confuse new listeners to believe those songs are newer then they appear.

Seeing and hearing both rock “Gods” from the 90’s, as ironic as it seems, showed they can still put out material that’s relevant both to their carriers, as well as the genre. It’s just unfortunate that they are too wrapped up in themselves to even see and hear that.

Written by Alt360º’s Todd Michaels