Smashing Pumpkins

with Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons

Five Point Amphitheater – Irvine, CA

Wednesday, August 9th, 2023

Review and Pictures: Diane Lynn   

If you’ve never been to Five Points Amphitheatre let me tell you – it’s a pretty cool venue. The parking is free unless you upgrade to the VIP spots. There’s a large grass area to chill before the show. Gourmet food trucks with some pretty tasty choices, beer and drink stands are in abundance and most importantly a huge area of porta potties, pretty nice ones too! All of the concert seating is pretty darn good. Even the farther back sections have a decent view of the stage and several large screens to watch the show. This is easily one of my favorite venues. Tonight’s show had the added bonus of being a hot August evening, complimented with a nice ocean breeze starting and even a few rain drops as the festivities were beginning.  

Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons packed them in for a sold out, Wednesday night show! Five Points was ROCKING! There were fans of all ages in attendance, most were sporting swag from their favorite band, and everyone was ready to enjoy an evening of live music.  

First up, a band that probably thinks I’m stalking them, Rival Sons.

Coming off of their newly released album, Darkfighter, the band started us off with their 2019 hit “Feral Roots then launched straight into a killer track called “Mirrors off of their lates album. It was a way too short set that concluded just as the sun was going down, but the fans still soaked up every song!

Jay Buchanan as always was sounding great! His vocal power leaves you in awe, especially when you hear him singing live! Mr. Fuzzlord, Scott Holiday was dressed to the nines as usual and thrilled us with his talents on guitar, actually multiple guitars through the set.

 Rival Sons are a well oiled machine that mesh well together and draw you in with their sound.  Not only have the band been busy touring non-stop in support of their June release, Darkfighter they also have a follow up that’s coming out later this year called Lightbringer. In addition to the Smashing Pumpkins dates, they have mixed in several headline shows as well.

Rival Sons at FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA, USA Setlist


Next up were Stone Temple Pilots and they came out ready to kick ass! Starting us off with Wicked Garden” and following that up with “Vasoline. It’s been a while but coming back from the loss of their frontman Scott Weiland couldn’t have been an easy thing but here they are, touring and sounding great!  

Their frontman since 2017, Jeff Gutt is an awesome vocalist and fits with STP like a glove. He has a stage presence that is similar to Weiland, whether it happens to be his own style or choregraphed that way, I feel that’s needed to keep true to the STP vibe. Either way, the fans love Gutt and honestly, he was fun to watch and listen to as he commanded the stage as his own.

Brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo are still rocking the classic STP sound and making sure the fans walk away satisfied at the end of every show. Robert on Bass and Dean on Guitar don’t seem to have lost an ounce of energy as they were killin’ it with every song, along with original Drummer Eric Kretz who is simply a bad ass on the drums!  

They played all of the hits from their catalog, twelve songs in total from four of their albums with most coming from the album “Core” and “Purple”. No walk off/on encore but they threw out handfuls of picks and drumsticks to the fans as they waved to thank the fans for coming out.  

Stone Temple Pilots achieved many accolades over the years and will always be a staple on my Rock and Roll playlist. 

Stone Temple Pilots at FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA, USA Setlist


I was hoping I’d be able to catch The Smashing Pumpkins on this tour as it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen them live. In fact, it was Halloween night 1998 at Dodger Stadium and they were opening for Kiss. Yup, that’s 25 years ago!  
The Smashing Pumpkins were relatively new to me then, but I really loved their sound. Finally, after all these years I got to see them again AND cover their show!   

The lights were low as “Atum” played over the speakers. As they readied themselves, they acknowldeged the crowd while strapping up and checking their settings. Once Billy Corgan was plugged-in, he walked to the front of the stage and with both arms stretched out, he seemed to summon the energy from the crowd, and they were willing to give it!

They hit us with “The Everlasting Gaze as their first song of the night, then on toDoomsday Clock” and putting their own spin on Once in a Lifetime”, a cover of the Talking Heads classic hit with James Iha breaking out his Lazer Gun for a very cool effect to end the song.

With the lights staying a deep blue or red theme they flowed into a few hits from my personal favorite album, “Siamese Dream” withCherub Rock”, “TodayandDisarm to name a few. It was nice to hear James talking to the crowd, thanking the fans for coming out, with a sense of humor he asked if “we all were having a reasonable time tonight”. Billy joined in to tell the fans “We appreciate you more than we could ever say.” and the fans gave a roaring response! Billy also mentioned how awesome it was to be touring with the Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons. He also mentioned the passing of Robbie Robertson who died earlier in the day and that was followed by some fun banter between Billy and James. It was a brief, but nice pause in the show.  

The band played a beautiful electric-acoustic version of “Tonight, Tonight that left the crowd speechless at first, then the sing-a-long started with a roaring applause at the end! The set was 21 songs long, ending with the ever popular “Zero, and still we wanted more. 

I have to mention the beautiful kit that Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was playing, golden in color and customized with such amazing artwork. An amazing kit for an amazing drummer! 

Performing stage right was Bassist Jack Bates who has been with the band since about 2015. Also joining them on stage was long time Guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Both are killer musicians and have brought some incredible talent to The Smashing Pumpkins. And I have to acknowledge the beautiful Katie Cole who is their backing vocalist, keyboardist and occasional guitarist.

It’s hard to believe this band has been around about 35 years now. None of them seem to age and they still sound amazing. Billy’s voice is just as I remember it from 1998 and their music is still as popular as it was when it first came out. 

The Smashing Pumpkins at FivePoint Amphitheatre, Irvine, CA, USA Setlist

Their World is a Vampire Tour shows dates are until at least September 2023, hopefully you’ll get a chance to catch a show. 

What an exciting sold-out show! Thank you, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons, for having me out to cover your show, I had an incredible night of live music!    

Related Links:

Smashing Pumpkins


Stone Temple Pilots


Rival Sons