Thursday, August 6, 1998
by Roddy Alan Fletcher
What a crush. I've never been pushed/shoved so much during a concert. I don't think the crowd could've been more exuberant. Siouxsie fed off of it, not that I blame her. I'd be pissed off if people didn't at least seem semi-happy to be there. No worries over crowd response this time; I thought the girl next to me would pass out for sure. All of us up front melded into one big, sweaty, smelly, bouncing mess. It lent itself to one exciting experience.
Sioux looked even more incredible than usual for this one. The wicked, fiery top and beaded mesh one were out of this world.
I had hoped for some wild set variations for the third gig--like "Pinned Down," "All She Could Ask For," "Thank You," or one of my old favorites like "Gecko" or "Ice House." However, it wasn't to be. The setlist mirrored the first NYC gig with the exception of "So Unreal."
I was a bit sad that it all had to end. The New York shows turned out to be quite perfect--venue, crowd, show, everything. I wasn't ready to leave New York behind.
With no big record company push and little publicity, Siouxsie packed them into 3 great nights at Life, for tag team match shows with John Cale. First, I was pleasantly surprised by Cale's set, very loud aggressive guitars and light piano, topped off by his fine deep voice. I loved his psychotic "Heartbreak Hotel" demolition job. He is still a sexy virile stage presence for someone who was shooting smack before I was born. (Just kidding--he probably never touched the shit, that was Lou Reed). I wasn't too familiar with his work beyond the Velvets and his production work (Patti Smith, Stooges, Nico). I must say I was really impressed.
The last night, Siouxsie was in very light spirits. A raunchy, heavy metal "Pluto Drive," a slinky "Tattoo" and a fast and fun "So Unreal" got the crowd crazy. And the new stuff sounded dark and wonderful, especially "Exterminating Angel," singing about piss and menstruation. My, my! I don't know if Sioux was on Ecstasy or if it's more fun to her without those pesky Banshees around, but the good mood was infectious. She was making googly eyes at Budgie, blowing him kisses and singing Frank Sinatra songs all night. In fact, she closed the set with 4 lines from "New York, New York" but stopped because she didn't remember the rest of the words. She should cut a Chanteuse album of those old songs.
She looked beautiful, better than her pasty Goth fans half her age, dressed in velvet and leather on a 90 degree NYC summer night. For her second set she came out in a bra and a beaded peek-a-boo vest she must have stolen from the set of "Showgirls." She looked splendid in it, especially topped off in her sequined comboy hat for "Gun," like a transsexual Elvis.
She hasn't sounded better since 1988's Peepshow tour, one of the best concerts I have ever seen (I'm dying for a video of that!). Budgie is as manic a drummer as ever, pounding out his unique rhythms. In a perfect world, their music would be on the charts rather than the offensive drivel we get served. But at least she still has us lunatics salivating over every note. At concert's end, she said, "thanks New York, you were fucking great." No, you were.
by Walter Pacheco
What else can be said about the once dubbed, "Ice Queen?" Well, for starters, her amazing ability to keep an audience enthralled, if not mesmerized, by her performance is certainly a spell all of her own casting. Siouxsie Sioux commands an air of majesty and decadence, yet slightly twisted with a touch of comedy, "Roses are red, Violets are blue, I'm Schizophrenic, and so am I," Sioux said. Her performance at New York City's Life Club was an event reminiscent of those long ago days of pure live music; no real pretense emanating from this "Ice Queen." John Cale's entrance with "Riverbank" aroused the semi-punk gothic retro trucker rocker crowd. The quick tempo and light beat of the song was in no way reflective of the wall of sound this man can create. "Magazine" sent the crowd into a frenzy as did "Pablo Picasso." However, the real treat of the night was Siouxsie. Her entrance into Cale's creepy "Hedda Gabbler," ensured that the night belonged to Siouxsie. Her appearance signaled the end of Cale's first set, and she began hers with "Disconnected" and "Take Mine", a song with an ethereal and spiraling "Are you happy now?" at the end of the song. Siouxsie's stage presence was somewhere between seductress and enchantress. Her fluid and gyrating hips during "Prettiest Thing" and rhythmic hand beats during the thunderous "Turn it On" kept the fans flickering like stained black grass in a thunderstorm. The stage was shared by Sioux and Cale several times, most memorably during "Murdering Mouth," in which Sioux ends by rubbing up against Cale like a pussycat in heat and then leering at him as she ends the song whispering "Always you my darling...Always you my dear. " A perfect finial to the night was a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs" which spellbound one of the many ghouls at the loudspeaker to actually lick and caress Siouxsie's boot! Siouxsie gladly accepted flowers and allowed herself to be photographed by her fans despite occasional intrusion by a bouncer trying to take away a fan's memory of a truly gifted and intriguing phenomenon in today's bland and often insipid music industry.