The Smashing Pumpkins will return to South Florida on Sunday, but this time around, their tunes will be a little softer and more stripped-down.
The alternative-rock band has been traveling around the United States and Canada since March 22 for the continuation of its In Plainsong tour, which hits Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.
The evening will feature a string of acoustic-electro versions of their songs. Building on demand for last year's tour, they've added 20 new tour dates. Bespectacled '90s indie songstress Liz Phair will open for the band, transporting fans back to a decade when grunge ruled the airwaves and flannel was an acceptable clothing choice.
For longtime fans who have experienced the band's typical retrospective sets, it should be refreshing to hear Pumpkins songs in a more intimate environment — especially compared to when Miamians experienced less-than-stellar sound quality at Bayfront Park, back when the band performed there last June with coheadliner Marilyn Manson.
Based on previous set lists from the tour, fans can expect a few covers and several deep cuts from Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, as well as some Zwan and Billy Corgan songs. Fans can only hope for another surprise appearance from former guitarist James Iha, who performed with the Pumpkins in Los Angeles on March 26 for the first time in 16 years.
Though frontman Billy Corgan has a history of issuing vitriolic Twitter rants and controversial public statements, that hasn't seemed to deter fans from coming out to Pumpkins shows. In a recent interview on the Alex Jones Infowars radio show, Corgan praised how Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has disrupted the system: "One of the most positive aspects of the Trump campaign is that he connected the dots and those people who feel disenfranchised by the system," Corgan said, adding, "Trump is known to most people because he was on a TV show... There's not a smarter communicator on the business level than he is... When you watch his speeches, it's like it's all sound bites, so he's understood."
With Liz Phair. 8 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $49.50 to $325 plus fees. Visit browardcenter.org.