Billy Corgan’s post-Smashing Pumpkins project Zwan lasted just under two years and yielded one album, the relatively uninspired Mary Star Of The Sea. So there’s really no way to judge either the band as a pop entity – without, of course, comparing it to the Pumpkins – or this particular bootleg’s merits. It finds the group performing “unplugged” style (hence the title) before what appears to be a relatively small studio audience – presumably in an FM studio or in a Paris TV studio, and the material itself is very pleasant and strummy, although it doesn’t have a whole lot of identity or character. The setlist appears to be drawn entirely from either the album or the bonus DVD that came with the limited edition version.
That said, if you were a Zwan fan or are a Corgan completist, this would be an essential purchase as it offers a great alternate view of the band and the man. The show was heavily traded by Zwan collectors and sometimes billed as a soundboard but it’s obviously a broadcast. Sound quality is flawless, and the packaging is gorgeous, a full-color digipak with graphics thematically derived from the Mary album, plus a clear tray panel with photos of the band beneath it. -- OSWALD