red lights

The Banshees Still Howl

Siouxsie and the Bansheees
The Vic
Chicago, IL
April 22, 2002
Siouxsie Sioux
Siouxsie Sioux clings on.

Review by Scott Stegenga
Photos by Barry Brecheisen

So you're in a classic alternative band that just decided to get back together and suddenly the folks at the Coachella Festival decide they'd like you in their lineup. Ok hotshot, what do you do since you haven't toured in seven years? It's easy. You do some warm up dates in your favorite American cities and lay the tunes out. Don't you wish life could be like this for everyone?Siouxsie Sioux It's just the case for a recently reformed Siouxsie and the Banshees who came to Chicago for two nights on their 'Seven Year Itch' tour - seven total shows after a seven-year hiatus. With their side projects left behind on hold, original members Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin, and Budgie along with session guitarist (and part-time member of Siouxsie side project The Creatures) Knox Chandler on guitar, the classic Goth-rock crew played to a nearly full house at Chicago's Vic Theatre.
It's enchanting to be in the presence of a band that began in 1976 with Sid Vicious on drums before his stint as a Sex Pistol and Marco Perroni on bass before he eventually joined Adam and the Ants. Some rock enthusiasts remember how enigmatically they worked their way though the UK rock scene and created great albums like The Scream, Juju, and Tinderbox. Do people recall that they even played the first Lollalpalooza and even did a theme song for a good Batman movie? With that in mind, much was to be anticipated for the admirer. Fans clad in the latest variety of black clothing, corsets, leather and vinyl bondage gear, and vampire material gathered to worship their hallowed mother and her band of banshees. Even a few famous locals, Billy Corgan and Chris Connelly, were seen cavorting in the audience amongst themselves reminiscing the early days.
Once the stage went black and the band arrived, Siouxsie, clad in a gray pinstripe suit, stunningly howled her way through the first two tracks of their debut album, The Scream, with haunting versions of 'Pure' and 'Jigsaw Feeling'. The set consisted of nothing new; only favorites for the true fan for what Sioux exclaimed would be a "bumpy night." Slithering on the floor amidst the lights and fog, Sioux unleashed songs from the days up to the 1986 classic Tinderbox with one b-side for the proper fan ('I Could Be Again' from the later single 'Fear (of the unknown)). With Severin's classic dark bass, Budgie's familiar tribal drums and Chandler's atmospheric fills on guitar during classics like 'Israel,' 'Night Shift,' and 'Voodoo Dolly,' the 13-song set left everyone screaming for more as Sioux ended the set slithering on the floor with her top now stripped down to just a sequined bra shining in their midst.
Two encores followed with more classic dark wave. Starting the first encore with 'Nicotine Stains' and 'Switch,' Sioux and crew received honor and glory for bringing back the old tunes from the dead and making them alive again. Once the crowd called for more, the second encore arrived with more classic riffs as the mysterious drums from 'Cities In Dust' aroused the audience to a close with a Beatles tune; not Hyena's 'Dear Prudence,' but instead the George Harrison penned 'Blue Jay Way.' an appropriate song from a truly Magical Mystery Tour.

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