Siouxsie and the Banshees
New York, Roseland, April 28, 1995

Rolling Stone
June 15, 1995
Transcribed by David R. Wild <ag869@freenet.Buffalo.EDU>

It was as though all the older bats had escaped from hell; Victorian Trent Reznors; caped Count Choculas; thirty-somethings in wedding dresses, black lipstick and Manic Panic dye jobs; a drag queen in farm-girl bondage, featuring pigtails, latex corset and a touch of gingham. They had all defied the laws of nature and come to Roseland in the spring twilight to revel in pleasure and worship the high priestess of goth. They were not to be denied.

The audience's early 80's art-school aesthetic was the only thing that looked dated once the band took the stage. For starters, singer Siouxsie Sioux came out without fright-mask makeup, wearing what seemed to be a spangly mohair jumper(!?!). Supported by her core band members of the past two decades - her drumming husband, Budgie, and bassist Steven Severin, - along with cellist Martin McCarrick and guitarist Jon Klein [sic], Siouxsie unfolded a noirish sound of polish and depth. Clearly, she has progressed well beyond goth. At times, her performance was so tight it was - Vegas goth!

Opening with the droning "Double Life" and "Forever" from this year's The Rapture (the band's 14th LP), the band established a trancelike, hypnotic tone from the outset. Whatever the show lacked in momentum, it made up for in sonic texture and Siouxsie's animated delivery. Her time-honored bat-Aspara goth dance on "Face to Face" obscured the fact that the atmospheric dirge creeps along like practically every song in her repertoire. A blast from the past - "Christine" - was all it took for the reverent floor to erupt, sending sacrificial mosh-surfers and roses flying toward the stage.

The band built up a mesmerizing stop-and-go pace, reaching a psychologically penetrating crescendo with "B-Side Ourselves." The Banshees elevated this obscure track to sainthood solely by virtue of their impassioned theatricality. By then even the unconverted members of the audience, like me, were worshipping at their altar.

- Bill Van Parys

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