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Blair’s DVD Watch—Smashing Pumpkins: ‘If All Goes Wrong’ (Coming Home Media)

This fine two-DVD set from the fall of 2008 includes a
feature-length documentary about Smashing Pumpkins’ two comeback
residencies in the early summer of 2007—at The Orange Peel club in
North Carolina, and 13 nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco—and a
full-length concert DVD (from the Fillmore). The documentary contains
plenty of concert footage from both venues, but there’s also lots of
offstage material, too—mostly Pumpkins leader Bill Corgan sitting on
hotel beds in a long nightgown, talking about music and the Pumpkins,
or writing songs. Corgan is a thoughtful but somewhat insecure guy, and
the documentary reveals some of Corgan’s misgivings about both San
Francisco and the Fillmore residency—particularly after a brutal review
of the first show appeared in San Francisco Chronicle. (On balance, the band’s hardcore fans regarded the group’s stay there as nothing less than a triumph.)

The concert DVD is a mesmerizing, nearly two-hour, 15-song
concert, which really shows the incredible range of this band: from
introspective acoustic music to driving sonic squalls, on a selection
of old and new songs (some written during the two residencies). You may
think of this band mainly as the one-time darlings of the alternative
movement, but they jam, too, and no doubt would’ve rocked the
Fillmore crowds in ’66, as well. A cool bonus feature is a rehearsal
where the band is set up in the middle of the Fillmore’s floor on a
patchwork of Persian carpets, and plays a few songs. With the recent
departure of Pumpkins drummer and mainstay Jimmy Chamberlain (the only
other original member on the comeback tour), this DVD set has now taken
on an added historical importance. Audio and video are tremendous
throughout—definitely state-of-the-art Pumpkins. It’s also a great look
at the Fillmore!

If All Goes Wrong documentary directed by Jack Guliek;
The Fillmore Residency directed by Daniel E. Catullo III. Live audio
recording by Randy Ezratty/Effanel. Mixing by Kerry Brown.

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