The Smashing Pumpkins 1990-08-05

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August 5, 1990 – Chicago, IL, US
Live performance by The Smashing Pumpkins
ArtistThe Smashing Pumpkins
DateAugust 5, 1990
FestivalFreeFest festival
VenueCricket Hill
Coordinates41°57′51″N 87°38′34″W
LocationChicago, IL, US
Venue typePark
PersonnelBilly Corgan, James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, Jimmy Chamberlin
Order of bandsThe Breathers, Green, Social Act, Heavy Mental, Smashing Pumpkins

August 5, 1990 was the first annual FreeFest festival in Chicago. Billy Corgan was intent on playing the festival and reportedly had to "shoehorn" his way into the lineup as the organizers were not interested in The Smashing Pumpkins, who were still a local band at the time.[1]

Unbeknownst to the other band members, Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin "simultaneously" decided to take LSD before the show. About three songs into the setlist, Corgan's amplifier "[blew] up like a whiff of smoke", and there were no backup amplifiers to use. This event triggered the first instance of the so-called "art breakdown" that would notably be present in future performances. During the art breakdown, organizers of the event are signaling for the band to stop playing, but they instead played louder and heavier improvisations. James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky, unaware that Corgan and Chamberlin were tripping on acid, were bewildered as to the direction of the show and Corgan and Chamberlin's constant laughter. Corgan considered the show a "legendary good/bad gig"[1]

Setlist[edit | edit source]


Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Given the known story behind the show, likely only a few songs were played followed by improvisation

Banter[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Corgan, Billy. "Good in Goodbye (with Jimmy Chamberlin)". iHeartPodcasts. Retrieved October 4, 2022.