The Music Box at the Fonda
February 15, 2008
By Steve Baltin
The calendar may have read as the day after Valentine’s Day, but inside the Music Box it was pure Halloweeny. Siouxsie Sioux was in town, and a thousand of her disciples, clad in black (of course), leather, top hats, and other celebratory attire came out to worship at her altar.
photos by Timothy Norris
As the front woman for her Banshees, Sioux is the queen of new wave and goth. In her 90-minute set it was easy to spot where followers like Bjork (in her movements) and Shirley Manson (her look, demeanor) have borrowed from Sioux. And like any music royalty, be it Dylan, Aretha, or Morrissey, Sioux had to do little more than take the stage to receive complete devotion from her legions. Well aware, she made her proper diva entrance on cue, clad in a shiny metallic silver and black futuristic ensemble, a moment after her four-piece backing band.
However, Sioux, who recently spoke in an interview about being most concerned with the now , is backing that up. After three decades, she’s just released her first solo album, Mantaray, to illustrious reviews; she brought that same vigor and wisdom to the Music Box. Dancing and interacting with the crowd from the outset, Sioux relied heavily on material from the new album, including some of the night’s finest moments, like the kiss-off song “Here Comes the Day,” the dance-flavored “About to Happen,” the rhythmic grind of “If it Doesn’t Kill You,” and the avant garde German cabaret of “Drone Zone.” And while she dipped into her past, to the delight of the crowd, for songs like “Dear Prudence,” the night’s highlights, was an impassioned closing version of Mantaray’s lead single “Into a Swan,” a song in which she declares, “I’m on the verge of an awakening/A new kind of strength for me.”
Bellowing “I burst out – I’m transformed” with the snarl that’s been her trademark since rising from Sex Pistols fandom to icon in her own right, Sioux made every person in the building believe those words.