My body aches. My feet are killing me. My voice is hoarse. My clothes are dirty with mud. There's beer on my Zero shirt.

All in all, a smashing success. I haven't had this much fun in a while.

The Smashing Pumpkins

Where to begin? Okay, let's begin with talking about The Smashing Pumpkins' show, which was the last one of the night. So they made us wait about ten minutes beyond the time that they were scheduled to appear onstage, and the fans' discontent with the delay did not go unvoiced. Eventually, Billy and Jimmy (hey, aren't those the names of the Double Dragon brothers?) walked onstage. As they appeared, the crowd chanted their Mexicanised version of the band's name, "ES-MA-CHIN, ES-MA-CHIN", to the obvious amusement of Billy. I didn't get to see much of Jimmy, as he immediately took his position behind the drums decorated with the drowning statue of liberty motif from the Zeitgeist album, but Billy was on the front, sporting a silver skirt and a form-fitting long-sleeved shirt whose colour was hard to make out with the lighting. Ginger Reyes, looking extremely hot in form-fitting suit too, Jeff Schroeder in a red suit, and Lisa Harriton then took their positions at the bass, guitar, and keyboards respectively, to the roaring approval of the crowd. Billy played the first four notes of Today, and the happy moshing, culmination of the night's expectations, began in full swing.

I was trying to get as far to the front as I could in the crowd comprised by 33,000-something souls. Thankfully, I'm very tall compared to most Mexicans, so I could get a good view of the band without many heads blocking my view. Without any stage banter, The Smashing Pumpkins proceeded to finish Today, went on to Tarantula from Zeitgeist, and played about six songs straight with nary a pause. The newer songs got a lukewarm response from the audience, but when Lisa Harriton played the introduction to Tonight, Tonight on the keyboard, the crowd's appreciation was colossal. I got pushed around to my heart's content in the ensuing moshing as I screamed the lyrics to the songs at the top of my lungs.

The details of the order of the songs and which songs were played are already getting cloudy in my mind, but somewhere in the middle of the show all five band members walked off the stage, and seconds later Billy came back alone with an acoustic guitar. We were treated to an acoustic version of 1979, and we sung the lyrics as best we could along with Billy. We also got an acoustic version of... shit I can't remember. One more song. I want to say Stand Inside Your Love, but I'm almost sure that given the crowd's energetic response to that second one, that it was fully metal. Aw, yeah. Heavy metal love song. That one was probably my favourite.

I remember a very unique version of Ava Adore, you will always be my whore. Maybe that was the other acoustic song we got, since I remember it sounded very different from the electrometal version in the Adore album. Also an amazing experience.

We did get Bullet With Butterfly Wings and a few others of the recognisable songs from Siamese Dream which I'm forgetting to mention. After the recognisable tunes, they finished off with some more of the newer songs I'm not familiar with yet, and about 10 minutes of jamming near the end. They walked offstage, and I was fully expecting at least one encore for Zero, being extremely iconic, this being after all the (Coke) Zero Fest, and all the kids who like me were wearing a Zero shirt, but we were disappointed, no encore, and after throwing them a few "CULEEEEEEEEROS" for leaving us without an encore, we trundled off home, overall extremely pleased.

The rest

The other big name of the night was My Chemical Romance. They put on a very good show, better than I expected. I only own their Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge album, so I wasn't familiar with all the songs they played from different albums. I was very pleasantly surprised. I thought they would scream for one hour straight, as every song in that album is very distinctly screamo material, but no, there's more to MCR than screaming. Being vaguely associated with emo, their opening stage banter did include some references to how violence against kids who dress in a certain style, specifically the emo style, is totally not cool, referencing the recent waves of violence against emo kids that we've had in Mexico. I'm not sure how much of the English the crowd understood, since they cheered all throughout that exhortation.

I definitely enjoyed MCR songs that I wasn't familiar with. I'll consider buying some of their other albums.

The Mars Volta was playing in the other stage, between MCR and SP♥, and because I didn't want to have to push my way out of the crowd waiting for SP♥ to come on after MCR got off the stage (and especially with all the praise that MCR gave to SP♥ about how the dude from MCR actually started doing what he does now because we saw SP♥ in Madison Square Garden), I didn't really get to see The Mars Volta's show. They were projecting their show on screens next to our stage and the music too. They put on a wild show, but a little too weird for me. Not exactly my cup of tea yet, although I'll try listening to more of their music.

The Mexican bands playing were pretty cool too, although some of them seemed a little out of place compared to the other bands of the night. I was personally very excited to see Belanova, a synthpop band from Guadalajara, shallow, dumb, and kinda gay, but for some people who didn't like them stayed in the crowd instead of walking away to see the other band that was playing at the same time, and actually went through great lengths to tell them how gay they were, like mooning them, flicking them off, throwing them empty beer cups. Fuck, if there is one thing I hate about my fellow Mexicans is how widespread homophobia still is here and very few people can see a pink velvet guitar strap over a band member without being so insulting. I was pleased with their show, but the crowd ruined it a little for me.

I saw a bit of Miranda! too, about two songs (after I saw Don, I was satisfied). Ely Guerra has a powerful voice, and she attracted my attention. The Mexican band Kinky was a really good surprise for me. I had heard one of their songs, but I didn't know it was theirs, and they really managed to move the crowd. At one moment, we were all jumping together, twenty, twenty five thousand of us, and I'm sure we managed to get a decent 4 or 5 on the Richter scale at least for a couple of hundred meters around us.

The moshing is great fun, but it did make me a bit scared, especially if it ever devolved into slam dancing, as it happened once or twice near me. It's not me I'm concerned about, since I enjoy it and am big enough to hold my own, but there are often many smaller and petite people around, usually women, who could get hurt. At one point, when I was trying to get to the heart of the moshing before SP♥ got onstage, there was a very slim girl trying to get out, and because I cannot ignore the call of a lady in distress, I held her close to me pushing people away with both the arm that was holding her and my free arm until I get her out of the crowd. I actually did this a couple more times for two other girls who were under similar circumstances. I'm no hero, just an old-fashioned chivalrous idiot.

When it was all over, I took a cab and had some tasty tacos for dinner (taco stands are pretty much the only food you can find after midnight, and a staple of post-party nourishment in Mexico), and then went home, with the same pleasant ailments as I am still experiencing now.

The Smashing Pumpkins. Wow. I can't believe I finally got to see them in concert. Life is good.

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