I stumbled upon this going through some old and random things. This was my first concert ever. Garbage opened the show, and I’ve had a thing for red heads ever since I saw Shirley Manson take the stage. The historic venue no longer stands, unfortunately, because Philadelphia sucks and had to make a drunk pit (known as “Xfinity Live!”) so delusional Ryan Howard fans could go get tanked before and after Phillies games.
But it’s a night I’ll never forget, especially since this is one of the last shows the Pumpkins ever played in their true and original form (if not the last show). Exactly One week later, Jonathan Melvoin, the touring keyboardist for the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness tour, died of a heroin overdose in New York City. The band’s drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, was with Melvoin at the time of his death and was immediately fired from the band.
I can still remember how their set opened. Melvoin rocked the album’s title track, a gorgeous instrumental, to a dark arena scattered with lighters. It was the first time that I felt emotional over a piece of music, and I still tend to tear up when I hear the song. I even had it played at our wedding.
A bit of a sad story, but Mellon Collie is one of the greatest and most important rock albums of all time, and this was the most fantastic way to experience it.