Zwan Kool Haus, Toronto ON - March 25, 2003

Zwan Kool Haus, Toronto ON - March 25, 2003
Smashing Pumpkins guru Billy Corgan assembled this designer rock band to save the world. Zwan somewhat suspiciously mirrors Corgan's previous one, and has already delivered a simply digestible and forgettable debut album, and it was expected that their live show would fare the same. And of course, it did. From the first song, which sounded like nothing more than loops of 30-second pop jingles, through to the end, the band's delivery and compositions were tired, lifeless and colourless. Bassist Paz Lenchantin, albeit talented, was perhaps the most animated of the lot, but why did she leave A Perfect Circle? Paz functioned like an over-enthusiastic cheerleader, while the legendary uber-indie-guitarist Dave Pajo (Slint, Tortoise) hardly played at all, perhaps due to being too wide-eyed and overwhelmed at having a real major label paycheque. Original Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was certainly the musical master of the evening. On the visually notable side, equally great guitarist Matt Sweeney (Chavez) acted as if he just got off the continental dayshift at a factory, while Corgan wore the most ill-fitting and ugliest top known to mankind. Despite the major shortcomings, Zwan don't suck. They just do not work — it just wasn't there. Instead of paying elevated amounts of currency for a ticket, the audience should instead have looked into paying for a ride in a time machine to catch the Smashing Pumpkins in 1991.