Reviews: The Smashing Pumpkins, Prince, Rihanna, Pearl Jam, Duran Duran, Paul McCartney

Today’s round of professional opinions gives you critiques of The Smashing Pumpkins’ performance in in Chicago, Ill.; Prince in Atlanta, Rihanna in Toronto, Pearl Jam in Jacksonville, Duran Duran in Brooklyn, and Paul McCartney in Fresno.

The Smashing Pumpkins @ Civic Opera House in Chicago, Ill., April 14 – “Billed as an acoustic-electro performance, the 130-minute show served notice to anyone tempted to write off the Smashing Pumpkins as a spent creative force.” – Bob Gendron / Chicago Tribune

Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, file
Presenting the award for favorite album – soul/R&B at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Prince @ Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Ga., April 14 – “As black-suited ushers roamed the aisles to enforce the no photo/video rule (a difficult concept for many to grasp), Prince ignored the various declarations of devotion being shouted from the crowd and demonstrated his remarkable piano skills. Funk, jazz, pop – he’s as nimble behind a keyboard as he is with a guitar strapped across his chest.” – Melissa Ruggieri / Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Rihanna @ Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, April 13 – “But the show was almost like a Coles Notes study guide of her career, with Rihanna offering up snippets and smatterings of her hits (in a scant 90 minutes, she clocked in over 20 songs). While it was obvious she was lip-syncing at times, her vocals really came through on ‘FourFiveSeconds’ and the aforementioned ‘Love on the Brain’ and ‘Kiss it Better.’” –  Mark Daniell / Toronto Sun

Photo: Michael Zorn/Invision/AP
2016 Black Girls Rock! at New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ.

Pearl Jam @ Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., April 13 – “As charismatic as Vedder can be, though, the real driving force in the band is guitarist Mike McCready, who rarely stood still for the whole evening. He paced nervous circles as he played or walked laps around the stage while cutting loose on soaring solos. Now and then he’d stop and strike a rock star pose while playing. But, hey, he is a rock star, so that’s to be expected, isn’t it?” – Tom Szaroleta / The Florida Times Union /

Duran Duran @ Barclays Center in  Brooklyn, N.Y., April 12 – “Simon Le Bon promised a set of ‘politics-free entertainment’ and ‘just pure fun’ during Duran Duran’s concert at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. But that was after the band had opened the show with ‘Paper Gods,’ the title song of its 2015 album and an indictment of the power of money and how ‘all the fools in town are ruling today.’” – Joe Pareles / The New York Times

Paul McCartney @ Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., April 13 – “As the evening went on, McCartney bounced from standards like ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite’ to newer tunes such as ‘Four Five Seconds.’ The set lineup had many of the songs McCartney has played for years, but he has freshened it up in a few spots with those less known works.” – Rick Bentley / The Fresno Bee