Pumpkins rock in front of an estimated 100,000 people on Hennepin Ave.
After a night at a campground just outside St. Cloud, Minnesota, I woke up 
around 5:30 AM. We took down and put our tents in the trunk of the car and
shortly after we were on our way to Minneapolis. The trip to the outer reaches
of the city took about 2 hours or so. The hours were counting down to what
promised to be one of the best concert going experiences of my life. Some
detours due to road construction extended the time it took to get to the hotel.
We finally made it to the Marriot City Center around 9:00-9:30. My brother
spent most of the time before noon looking around the mall and eating lunch.
We then went across the street to a place just outside of the make shift gates.
When my brother's friend from Listessa didn't show up for a little while, I decided
to ask some fans near us to sign a 10th anniversary card we had brang to give
to the Pumpkins. During the time before the concert we met some people from
the Siva forum, Kip(the webmaster of The Pulseczar), a couple of Listessans,
and many others. At one point Kare 11 news was doing interviews with some SP
fans. My brother, Steven,was able to get in front of the camera after a couple
other people left. He showed the card to them and told them how we drove
practically 9 hours to get there from Winnipeg just to see the Pumpkins. They
said it would be on the news, but as it turns out, we were one of the ones not
shown on TV. Around 1:00 PM or so Jen from Listessa and her boyfriend met up
with me. Steven had gone up to the hotel to call her to see if she was coming yet.
Shortly after Steven came back we all talked and made introductions some people
we had met. A few more people signed the card as well. There must have been at
least 100 signatures on the card. At some point later, Steve went over to the side
of the street, where the security guards were. One of the security guards told 
him that he would get our card and the copy of Super SP. Bros that we brought
to the band a little later. We ended up going back there many times, but that
security guard never came back. During the wait until the security guards would
allow us entry to the concert area, I was feeling the effects of the heat. With
my water running out, I tried to get shade beside the wooden fence near the far
side entrance (near the security guards). Finally at about 5:00 PM, they allowed
us to get through. Despite warnings for the crowd not to run, the whole crowd
basically did. A makeshift wooden barrier that the crew had painted black turned
out to be for safety reasons, so no one would get killed. The area right in front of
it near the stage, which was rumoured to be a VIP section for people over 21 was
not so restrictive after all. The security guards started giving out pink wristbands to
the less rowdy fans and I eventually was able to get one. I met up with my brother
and a girl from the Siva forum, whose screen name was Lily. We ended up in about
where the fourth or fifth row would be. After short time, the first opener called
Furside played for 1 and half hours. The second opener, Cracker played about the
same about of time. Between the sets, people from Rock 100.3 got us geared up the
Pumpkins performance, even when they were not going to play next. Before Cracker
played, the Mayor of the city came out and declared the day "Smashing Pumpkins
Day" in Minneapolis. She also talked about how it was great how the Pumpkins were
playing for free and applauding the radio stations for paying the bill. After Cracker
left the stage all of us were growing restless over the next 1 and half hours. At
times the whole crowd was chanting "Pumpkins, Pumpkins!". With our legs growing
soar, the Pumpkins came on the stage with a huge cheer from the crowd. As soon
as they began "To Sheila" I was so energized and their was a feeling of serenity in
the air. Then "Behold! The Night Mare" with its peaks and falls was played. By
"Pug" the concert was in full swing. The drums pounded, the guitars blared, and
the crowd continued to mosh. It was truly one of the best moments of the
concert. Shortly after Mike Garson, the pianist began to play "Tear". Then Billy
and the rest of the band broke in with raging electric guitars and screaming
electric guitars. The interlude of the song began with Garson again playing the
keyboard with an almost haunting sound to it. Billy waved to fans and they
prepared to enter the song again. Billy, D'arcy, and James broke into a guitar riff
that kept on building to the climax as the drummers came in. Then more lights
all of sudden blazed upon the band, illuminating the stage as they were about
to break into the main riff. From start to finish the song was truly amazing. The
band out did themselves again. They then played the soft but great "Once 
Upon A Time". The sweet sound of James' guitar layed out a nice background
for the song along with a magnifiscent bridge. As the sun was beginning to set
you could hear the drummers starting to play, the maracas could distincly be
heard. The stage was once again set a fire with lights as the band played a
rocking version of "Ava Adore". After they played an incredibily sped up and great
version of "Daphne "Descends". The Pumpkins proceeded to play a new version of
the epic from Mellon Collie, "Thru the Eyes of Ruby". The stage lights shut down
as the song ended and Billy was handed an acoustic guitar. The three Pumpkins
were left to play a low key but beautiful version of "Perfect." Afterwards they said
how nowhere else in America were they allowed to play for free and not in the
city center. D'arcy then told the people hanging out the windows of the city 
center building not jump. Billy replied by saying, "The Smashing Pumpkins do not
endorse dangerous activity of any kind at any time." Then he discussed how his
idols, Black Sabbath were playing at Ozzfest the next night. Billy started to play
guitar a little bit then said "So we dedicate this song to Black Sabbath and to all
of you for making this a great night for us, a wonderful night.......Yes, James, we
will always remember tonight." They proceeded to play a new, full band acoustic
version of a personal favorite of mine, "Tonight, Tonight".  It was one of the most
memorable parts of the concert. When I heard the drums pounding in a huge drum
solo, I knew from the MP3's I heard, it could only be one song "Bullet With 
Butterfly Wings". The song was followed by "Shame" and the powerful epic and 
ode to Billy's mother "For Martha". When they came out for the encore they said
that they had a special guest. James said shortly after that there was no special
guest since no one was coming. A little later he said "Now, here's our hit song"
(with his fingers up in air making quotation marks). The band played a much more
rock based version of "1979", which was still great. Their special guest, the
Mayor of Minneapolis came out after and once again declared the day "Smashing
Pumpkins Day". They then played "Transmission", a Joy Division song with teases
of the David Bowie song, "Let's Dance". Billy was saying that they were calling to
the stars for aliens to come. At times he pointed to the sky for us to see helicopters
overhead that were using their lights to create an X in the sky to siginify the
X-Files. As the song was well underway, Billy stopped playing, started dancing and
singing, "Dance, Dance, Dance to the radio....transmission". As the song was
winding down, myself, my brother, and Lily tried getting through the crowd with
our card. We even called out to them but by the time we got to the first row,
they had all gone off stage. Security guards told us a couple of minutes later that
they already had left. It was not meant to be. After all of that and the fact
I got a sunburn and stiff muscles, it was all worth it. It was the best concert
and possibly one of the most memorable experiences of my life. As Billy said,
"...we will always remember tonight".


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