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Smashing Pumpkins Cover Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in Tour Opener

When we lost David Bowie in January, did the whole music world hop on a conference call to coordinate a calendar of Bowie tributes?

That’s the way it’s felt since Bowie’s death. It’s as if everyone scheduled their personal Ziggy memorials far in advance. More likely though, the sundry tributes are simply a testament to the far-reaching effects of Bowie’s influence. Over the past two months, there has been a supernova of covers, tributes, and anecdotes. Through these revelatory tidbits—none more amusing than Bowie’s frank dismissals of potential collaborations—the world has gained even more insight into the legacy that Starman left here on Earth. We are all experiencing some kind of posthumous meeting with Bowie’s powerful, lingering spirit.

The Smashing Pumpkins’ cover of “Space Oddity” is the honor. On Tuesday night, the iconic ‘90s rockers kicked off their 19-date Plainsong tour in Portland. With acoustic guitar fretwork and Billy Corgan’s signature croon, the band pulled off a rapturous rendition of the Bowie classic. Near the end of the song, the Pumpkins’ frontman pleads repeatedly, “Can you hear me Major Tom?” He pauses after the fourth iteration, as if listening for a response from whichever space Bowie inhabits now.

Amidst several originals, the band also covered Hole’s “Malibu”—a 1998 song that Corgan co-wrote—and encored with the Rolling Stones’ classic ballad, “Angie.”

According to a press release, the band will begin work on a new album after concluding this “electro-acoustic” tour. The project will be “inspired by the sounds explored in the new acoustic setting.” Check out the two covers and let us know what you think in the comments.

HT: Billboard

IMAGE: Schnékert

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