“It was just like the ’90s, but somehow bigger,” said a friend who attended the packed Jane’s Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins show at the Chase Center on November 15. Both of the alternative juggernauts, still hanging in three+ years later, dawned fully formed with an arena-sized sound, so it’s safe to say that the venues are still fitting themselves around the music.
Perry Farrell and his outfit leaned heavily on the visual aesthetic and unstoppably massive sounds of 1988’s Nothing’s Shocking, with dancing girls and overpowering waves of sound. Smashing Pumpkins, in a typical extended set, launched into giant hits like “1979” and “Bullet with Butterfly Wings,” plus their fabulously Cure-meets-Zeppelin take on Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” It all added up to a nostalgic Gen X wallop that left ears (and more than a few other pierced body parts) ringing. —Marke B.