James Iha

Covering a little known Eric Anderson number near the end of his 50-minute solo set, Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha sang, “I’d love to sing my ballad/But they only wanna hear me rock ‘n’ roll.” Not after this show. The shy musician’s ballad-heavy solo debut was a stunner. And the intimate Top Note Theatre–a part of Metro, the club that gave the Pumpkins their first big break–was the perfect setting for Iha’s laid-back performance in front of a hometown crowd that included Pumpkins’ bassist D’Arcy, members of the Frogs and his parents.

Scratchie Records Showcase at Metro

For the first time Saturday night, James Iha and D’Arcy weren’t the center of attention. The Smashing Pumpkins musicians, acting as emcees, stood together at the mike, preparing to welcome the evening’s headliner at Metro. Before they could finish their introduction, however, the Frogs walked onstage, dressed in their typically flamboyant costumes.