Revamped Smashing Pumpkins Plan Hometown Club Shows

Bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur will make her debut at benefit dates preceding European tour.

The Smashing Pumpkins will debut their new lineup at a pair of club dates

Dec. 20–21 at one of their favorite hometown haunts, Chicago's Metro


The shows at the 1,100-capacity club will be the rock band's first with

former Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur. The bassist joined the touring

version of the group last month in place of Pumpkins co-founder D'Arcy

Wretzky, who quit in September.

The shows, benefits for the Chicago Food Depository, will likely provide

a preview of the band's hard-rocking fifth studio album, MACHINA/the

machines of God, due Feb. 29. The Chicago band recorded the album in

the summer prior to Wretzky's departure.

"It's such an honor that the Metro was chosen for the first two shows for

their new record and new bass player," club owner Joe Shanahan said. "In

the past Billy has called the Metro his psychic home. I'm very excited

because this is as big as it gets, and it's why I'm still in the business."

Fans who bring two cans of food to the show will receive a signed Christmas

card from the group, according to a Metro press release.

Following the U.S. warm-up shows, the band will kick off a European tour

Jan. 7 at the Cirkus in Stockholm, Sweden, Pumpkins publicist Annie Ohayon

said. The two-week tour will take the band through Denmark, Italy, Spain,

France and England before winding up at the Music Center in Utrecht,

Germany, on Jan. 24.

No other U.S. dates have been announced.

The full track listing for the album, a return to the band's more psychedelic,

hard-edge rock sound, is: "The Everlasting Gaze," "Raindrops and Sunshowers,"

"Stand Inside Your Love," "I of the Mourning," "The Sacred and Profane,"

"Try, Try, Try," "Heavy Metal Machine," "This Time," "The Imploding Voice,"

"Glass and the Ghost Children," "Wound," "The Mercury Tree," "With Every

Light," "Blue Skies Bring Tears" and "Age of Innocence."

The album follows up the electronica-tinged Adore (1998), which

featured such keyboard-driven tunes as "Ava Adore" (RealAudio

excerpt) and "Daphne Descends" (RealAudio


The Pumpkins have a long tradition of performing at the Metro and its

cross-town sister club, the Double Door. They performed at the Metro last

year, opening for one of their idols, power-pop band Cheap Trick, and

frequently have used the club's upstairs rehearsal space to try out new


The group introduced its multiplatinum double CD Mellon Collie and the

Infinite Sadness (1995) with two shows at the Double Door, performing

the album's cathartic tunes to sellout crowds of 500. The band also played

an unannounced $5 show at the club under the name the Turnips following

the release of Siamese Dream (1993).

Shanahan said Corgan approached him about the upcoming shows only two

weeks ago.

The new album marks the return of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who rejoined

the band earlier this year for a club tour. He had been ousted following

the fatal overdose of touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin in July 1996,

after which Chamberlin pleaded guilty to heroin possession.

Smashing Pumpkins tour dates:

Dec. 20–21; Chicago, Ill.; Metro

Jan. 7; Stockholm, Sweden; Cirkus

Jan. 9; Copenhagen, Denmark; Cirkusbygningen

Jan. 11; Munich, Germany; Muffathalle

Jan. 12; Milan, Italy; Alcatraz

Jan. 15; Lisbon, Portugal; Lisbon Coliseum

Jan. 16; Madrid, Spain; Palacio de Congresos

Jan. 18; Paris, France; Elysee Montmarte

Jan. 19; Brussels, Belgium; Cirque Royale

Jan. 21; Manchester, England; Apollo

Jan. 22; London, England; Dominion

Jan. 24; Utrecht, Germany; Music Centre