Billy Corgan will take time out from recording the next two SMASHING PUMPKINS albums, both due in 2015, to perform a very special, exclusive hometown acoustic-based solo concert Saturday, August 30 at Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the oldest outdoor music festival in America and the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936.
The singer/songwriter/guitarist and multiple Grammy Award winner's set will encompass material from the PUMPKINS' acclaimed, multi-platinum catalog, including a "Mellon Collie Suite" of songs to celebrate the 20th anniversary of writing the album. Concertgoers will also be treated to his songs with ZWAN from their one-and-only 2003 album and his 2005 solo album "TheFutureEmbrace" plus songs from his unreleased "ChicagoKid" album (recorded before "TheFutureEmbrace"), a song cycle about his hometown.
"I feel many of my songs are under-represented by the construct of playing in the PUMPKINS, which is almost always loud," says Corgan, whose only other acoustic-based show took place at Chicago's Metro in 2004. "And I look forward to the intimacy of that kind of performance no matter how big the stage is."
How does Corgan feel this all-acoustic format will shed new light on his songs?
"First and foremost, I feel like a songwriter, and in that there's this extensive body of work that sort of exists as if it never happened," he says. "Most of that is my fault, and it's my hope that going forward I'll play just as much in an acoustic format as I do in an electric one. In regards to picking songs from all eras of my musical life, that's a joy: because many of the best songs have never been played; or in the case of those from the ZWAN period, unplayed for over 10 years."
On the setlist will be some material from the SMASHING PUMPKINS album "Adore", due out this fall (release date to be announced) in a multiple CD/DVD configuration via Virgin/UMe. Since he's been busy preparing this reissue, does Corgan see "Adore" in a new light by having gone through this deep process?
"'Adore''s base was a merging of acoustic and electronic processes, which at the time was derided for being too confusing (if you can imagine that!)," explains Corgan. "So yes, over time I've grown to appreciate the watershed that the album is, and how it's probably the most pivotal moment in my artistic life."
Will Corgan debut any new songs from the two SMASHING PUMPKINS albums — "Monuments To An Elegy" and "Day For Night" via Martha's Music/BMG — coming in 2015 and does he feel the new music will fit into the band's body of work?
"There's a chance I'll play one, maybe two, but the issue there is having new work judged before the album version is heard," he says. "Having worked so hard to make 'Monuments To An Elegy' a real statement, I'd have to think long and hard about that. As far as how the newest songs will fit into the canon, they'll fit in just fine. The best ones seem to last."
The upcoming new albums will follow the band's June 2012 critically acclaimed album "Oceania". It entered The Billboard 200 chart at No. 4; earned the No. 1 spot on the Independent Albums chart; and Rolling Stone hailed it as one of the best albums of the year. Following "Oceania"'s release, the band embarked on a world tour playing the album in its entirety along with the band's classics and deep cuts.
In other news, Corgan will be honored with the Alternative Press Vanguard Award at the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards, to be held at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, July 21.