The Smashing Pumpkins' afterlife looks to be a lively one.
The band will release several albums and DVDs this year and next, singer Billy Corgan told fans at a sold-out Smashing Pumpkins tribute concert Saturday in Chicago.
Corgan made a surprise appearance at the Metro for Act IV: A Tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins The Echo Rings Forever On. The concert's title refers to the band's three-act farewell show at the venue in December.
Taking the same stage the Pumpkins frequently commanded in their early years, Corgan told a dazed crowd that a collection of the band's hits was being compiled for release later this year, according to Metro Promotions Manager Virginia Jones.
A limited-edition collection of B-sides, a "sort of a follow-up to Pisces Iscariot," featuring outtakes from the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Adore and Machina/The Machines of God sessions, will also be released this year, Corgan said.
Two Smashing Pumpkins DVDs are also in the works, though they probably won't hit stores until next year, according to Corgan. A collection of all the band's videos will be released first, followed by a concert special filmed at the farewell show. The latter will include a documentary that is "taking a lot of time," he explained.
A Virgin Records spokesperson said the tentatively titled Smashing Pumpkins' Greatest Hits is scheduled for a November 6 release. Information was not available on other projects from the band.
Corgan, whose last public appearance in Chicago was to salute Bozo the Clown during the final taping of his landmark television show (see "Billy Corgan Serenades Bozo The Clown"), spent most of his time Saturday backstage, Jones said. "He was chatting with the bands and answering their questions," she added.
The singer took the stage to introduce the show's headliner, Chicago's Kill Hannah. He said the show was "in the true spirit of why the Smashing Pumpkins became a band," according to Jones.
The 4th Act, as the show was commonly referred to by Pumpkins fans, was the brainchild of Toronto fan Steven Pukin, who solicited demos from Pumpkins admirers around the world via the band's Web site and handed them over to the Metro for selection.
Bands on the bill included San Diego's Robyn, San Francisco's Christophe Thibault, Iowa's Lindsey Kuper, South Africa's Ketamine and New York's Lost Logic. A Chicago band called D'Arcy, named after original Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy Wretzky but not featuring her, also performed.
Pukin and other fans also put together Ghost Children, a tribute CD of fans covering their favorite Pumpkins songs. Copies were sold at the concert, and the proceeds, along with those from the show, went to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Jones said Metro owner Joe Shanahan, a longtime supporter of the band, choose to book the tribute concert on July 7 to celebrate the anniversary of Smashing Pumpkins Day in Chicago.
Fittingly, the city of Chicago once again declared July 7 Smashing Pumpkins Day in honor of the tribute show, which raised more than $10,000, Jones said.