Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins joined fellow ’90s rockers Porno for Pyros at Lollapalooza to perform “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. The unexpected collaboration occurred at the conclusion of Porno for Pyros’ set. Nine songs into their performance, the band — which replaced Perry Farrell’s more popular band, Jane’s Addiction, on the Lollapalooza lineup — welcomed Corgan to the stage. Farrell proclaimed to the crowd, “Chicago, I love you all.” “Billy Corgan is a dear friend with whom we’ve gotten together. This time, a reunion has occurred. We want to perform a proper Chicago song with you, is that okay?”
The musicians then performed a powerful rendition of “When the Levee Breaks,” with Farrell on lead vocals and Corgan on guitar. The Delta blues song was originally written in 1929 and recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie, but Led Zeppelin’s version on Led Zeppelin IV made it famous in 1971. Corgan’s appearance during the Lollapalooza performance begins at 37:38 in the following video.
The festival collaboration culminated both artists’ hectic week. Corgan, a native Chicagoan, hosted a benefit concert on July 27 for victims of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park. Throughout the event, the frontman of Smashing Pumpkins debuted “Photograph,” a new song inspired by the tragedy. The singer explained that he had discovered a photograph of himself “standing in the exact location where this terrible thing occurred,” causing him to view the image in an entirely new light. “Good things become bad, bad things become good, and simple things become complicated,” he remarked as he explained how the song was composed. Farrell also made an appearance at the charity event, performing “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction with Corgan. In the fall, Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction are scheduled to embark on the Spirits on Fire tour together.
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