Creatures Creep Through A Night Of Seductive Rock

Sexy Siouxsie Sioux leads the band and audience through a set of old and new material.

SAN FRANCISCO -- When she's onstage, Siouxsie Sioux

performs with a powerful sexual energy.

More than her sultry music, more than her skin-tight leather body

suit, more than her seductive tone of voice, she radiates a confidence

and self assurance that can seduce crowds.

Take, for example, her performance at the Maritime Hall here Friday

with her side band the Creatures, a show that included ex-Velvet

Underground rocker John Cale as the opening act. Sioux slinked and

slithered around the stage like a cat prowling for some food.

Her voice seemed to cry out for attention, a wanton wail that seemed

even more meaningful than the words she was trying to

communicate.

"When she sang 'Venus in Furs' ... What a babe!" is all that 23-year-

old concert-goer Meri Brin had to say about it.

And like a true vixen, Sioux rarely travels alone. Audience members

got a special treat when she shared the stage with Cale for a truly

gothic extravaganza. The large venue was packed and the crowd was

noticeably on high alert when Cale appeared onstage. The musician

started things off by setting the mood of the evening.

Dressed in black, he tapped at his keyboard, delivering an ominous, if

not downright depressing poetry while footage of human surgery

appeared on the huge screens flanking the stage.

Cale's deep voice and stern delivery proved a strange juxtaposition

against what was to come.

After Cale had run through five of his songs, Siouxsie Sioux, clad in

shiny black

leather, appeared onstage, as if out of a dark alleyway. The crowd

exploded with applause and whistles. The sexy singer strutted up to

the microphone and said simply and softly, "The beautiful people are

out tonight."

Perhaps she was referring to the crowd that, for the most part,

resembled extras from "Interview With The Vampire." Mostly, they

were here to see the gothic rocker and her band and get an earful of

their latest sound. And much to their surprise, the performance

featured a number of new songs, including, "Prettiest Thing" -- a

seductive number featuring the band's patented Caribbean flavor --

"Take Mine," the apocalyptic "Exterminating Angle" and the standout

"Turn It On."

The band, currently in the midst of a three-month tour that includes

stops in London, Mexico City, New York and Chicago, is set to release

a new, yet-to-be-titled album sometime in 1999, according to its

management.

Since disbanding Siouxsie and the Banshees, the band that first

garnered Sioux musical acclaim, the singer has focused her efforts on

the Creatures, a band that she started with percussionist-husband

Budgie in 1981. The band has released only one full-length LP,

1989's Boomerang, but has toured extensively, including

playing on the Lollapalooza summer tour festival in 1991.

And it shows. After her husband, Budgie, who seems to exude

rhythm from every pore, began to pound out a deep, pulsing rhythm

on the drums, Siouxsie began to sing.

Let it be said that there are few voices as recognizable as Sioux's, and

at age 40, she has lost nothing of her range or unique cadence. In

fact, she seems to have grown into her voice, perfected the use of it

to the point where it has become a lethal musical weapon. Whether

she was belting out a low note or screeching out high, cat-like calls,

her voice cried out in beautiful song, filling the huge theater, making

every nuance audible to the listener.

Even if the crowd didn't know all the words to the new material yet,

fans grooved to the sounds as if to old favorites. They screamed

passionately for Sioux to hear them. Some handed her flowers. Some

simply stood in awe, hypnotized by her very presence.

When the band got to the night's pivotal number, "Turn It On,"

featuring a thick, bass-laden beat, a beautiful wall of sound

emanating from the guitar player's amp, Sioux delivered a blistering

chorus -- "Play the game where I play the king/ Everything to risk,

everything to save/ I change what I can/ Accept what I can't/ Cause

I've got the power ... Chameleon/ Turn it on/ Feel the power ...

unpredictable/ Feel the power ... untamable/ Turn it on."

It was a sound that soothed as well as stirred emotions.

After Sioux had brought the audience to a fever pitch with

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Creatures,_The/Pluto_Drive.ra

m">"Pluto Drive" (RealAudio excerpt), from the Creatures'

1989 record, Boomerang, Cale re-emerged onstage, strapped on

a guitar and proceeded to run through some faster rock songs,

looking perhaps to take over where Sioux left off.

But the crowd seemed disinterested in Cale's electric set. Fans

wanted Sioux and all her freaky feline fetishes to return to the stage.

Before too long, their wish came true.

The seductress returned to perform "Murdering Mouth" as a duet

with Cale. After switching instruments from acoustic guitar to bongos

to his drumset, percussionist Budgie stepped up to the huge bass

drum aside the stage and the band delivered the highlight of the

evening during the third encore -- a rendition of the Velvet

Underground's "Venus in Furs."

Mesmerized by the droning tune, which Sioux sang in her patented

come-hither tone, the crowd seemed wasted, breathless, unable to

speak.

Sioux had done her job.

She had given them what they wanted -- her love.