(Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat)
Three quarters of the classic Smashing Pumpkins lineup reunited on Saturday, when original guitarist James Iha joined drummer Jimmy Chamberlain and frontman Billy Corgan on stage for a performance.
The show took place in Los Angeles, and featured a handful of classic cuts from the Siamese Dream LP which featured Iha in full, including “Disarm”, “Rocket” and longtime radio staple, “Today”. The only original member missing throughout the performance was original bassist D’arcy Wretzky.
— Smashing Pumpkins (@SmashingPumpkin) March 27, 2016
For Iha, who turned 48 years-old on Saturday, it was the first time he had performed with his fellow original members in the last 16 years. He left the band in 2000, following the release of the band’s fifth LP, Machina/The Machines of God. The band continued in Iha’s absence, releasing three additional studio albums, the most recent being 2014’s Monuments to an Elegy.
As spontaneous as the reunion was, it is unclear if Corgan or Iha have any interest in working on something more long-term again. If a studio album or tour were to follow, it would be safe to say there would be a sizeable market for it, given that the band has remained fully active since Iha’s initial departure.
On the other hand, Iha has kept busy since leaving the band. In 2012, he released a solo LP, titled Look to the Sky, and has played in several stints with the progressive metal-tinged A Perfect Circle, along with an assortment of side projects.
Either way, it was good to see him take a turn back to his roots in The Smashing Pumpkins, and play some of the most beloved songs from the band’s heyday. That era of the band is still considered some of the best the 1990’s had to offer. Time will tell if it meant anything more than that.
UPDATED (03/28/2016): Iha performed with the band again last night, as they covered more of their 90’s catalogue, along with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Angie”. Check it out below.