Siouxsie Sioux had a surprise for some of her young Siouxsettes at the Universal Amphitheatre on Saturday, the first of two nights there for her and her Banshees.
Many of the worshipful young women were dressed the way they must have expected their idol to be: the Louise Brooks-like tragic heroine she's been for much of her lengthy and influential run as a gloom-pop icon.
What they got was an aerobicized sex-tease: Sioux, with '40s-ish, piled-up hair topping a very revealing body suit, looked like Sean Young in "Blade Runner" and moved like a Jazzercise instructor. And she didn't mope one bit.
It's not quite a reinvention of Madonna-esque proportions, but the message was clear: Limberly flaunting sexuality and fitness the way she used to flaunt misery and confusion, Sioux wants once and for all to lose the lost-girl image in favor of that of a strong, confident woman.
Though she strayed perilously close to Sheena Easton territory at times, it's a positive move, showing her still-young, still-confused fans (like Deadheads, there seems to be a constant supply of fresh Siouxsettes) that there can be a bright future.
Musically, too, Sioux and crew (who also play San Diego's Golden Hall on Tuesday) have pretty much abandoned the veiled gloom of old for sunnier techno-pop, which is fine, since plenty of others have carried on the old tortured torch.
The newer sound isn't as distinctive or hypnotic as the old, but it beats artistically running in place--even as it made an appropriate soundtrack for Sioux's physically running in place.