Words & Photos by Steve Cerf

October 24, 2022

The Smashing Pumpkins took the stage to a deafening, near capacity crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. Supporting their "Spirits on Fire" Tour, Founder\Front man & Guitarist Billy Corgan was backed by founding members Jimmy Chamberlin on drums, and James Iha on guitar. Rounding out the band were Jack Bates on bass, Jeff Schroeder on guitar, and Aussie Katie Cole on backing vocals and keyboards. The group delivered a concert of its 30 plus year songbook and Billy’s voice was stronger than ever.

One of the evening’s highlights was when Corgan and Iha played side by side acoustic guitars to their hit song, “Tonight, Tonight” Another was when Corgan & company took on the Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime.” The two hour and fifteen-minute, twenty-four song setlist started the show with “Quiet” and went right into “Empires.” “Empires” will be released on the 3-part rock opera “Atum” (pronounced Autumn). Each Act of the 33 song “Atum” will be released every 11 weeks with a November 15th release of Act 1, followed by Act 2 on January 31st and final Act 3 on April 23rd. But a total disappointment of the evening was when I heard Jane’s Addiction’s performance was cancelled due to a physical injury.


1. Quiet 2. Empires 3. Bullet With Butterfly Wings 4. Today 5. We Only Come Out at Night 6. Cyr 7. Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover) 8. Solara 9. Eye 10. Ava Adore 11. Tonight, Tonight (acoustic with James Iha) 12. Starla 13. Stand Inside Your Love 14. I of the Mourning 15. Cherub Rock (with band intros) 16. Zero 17. 1979 18. Beguiled 19. Silverfuck 20. Neophyte 21. Disarm 22. Harmageddon 23. If There Is a God 24. X.Y.U. "

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My name is Steve Cerf and concert photography is my passion. I got into concert photography after seeing a young Freddy Mercury mesmerize his audience at the Philadelphia Civic Center back in 1977. Since then, I have photographed countless live performances of all kinds. Located in Philadelphia, my ability to experience the show and a performer’s essence and “sweat” is what I incorporate into my images.

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