Billy Corgan, Porno For Pyros Take on Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” at Lollapalooza

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Lollapalooza 2022 has been full of surprises. Green Day performed two songs they haven’t played in more than 21 years, and Metallica jammed out to “Master of Puppets” backstage with Stranger Things actor Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson). The festival united the 1970s and ’90s when Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan and Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros frontman Perry Farrell teamed up to perform Led Zeppelin’s 1971 song “When the Levee Breaks” during the final night of the four-day festival in Chicago.

Earlier this year, Corgan joined Jane’s Addiction for a rendition of their 1987 hit “Jane Says” to celebrate their forthcoming tour together. Jane’s Addiction and Smashing Pumpkins are set to kick off their Spirits On Fire Tour in October. The 32-date tour will kick off in Dallas on Oct. 2 and wrap up at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Nov. 19.

“I love you all, Chicago,” said Farrell to the crowd before introducing Corgan. Farrell reunited Porno for Pyros to replace Jane’s Addiction on the Lollapalooza lineup when they had to pull out due to guitarist Dave Navarro’s battle with COVID.

“We have a very dear friend, Billy Corgan, that we got together [with],” added Farrell. “We want to do a proper Chicago song for you together. Is that cool?”

Playing through a powered-up “When the Levee Breaks,” Farrell took on vocals while Corgan played guitar, a Gibson ES-335, which he rarely uses onstage.

“When the Levee Breaks” was originally written in 1929 and recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie, and later made famous when Led Zeppelin released their cover of the Delta blues song on their fourth album Led Zeppelin IV.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for KROQ/Entercom)

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