Siouxsie & the Banshees, one of England's longest-lived and most influential alternative music groups, has given some pretty erratic performances here. But the decade-old quartet fulfilled all expectations at the Palladium Friday, turning in a striking set that ranged from the tense, droning metallic liturgy of "Nightshift" to the ironically uplifting bounce of "Happy House."
Whether assuming hieroglyphic angles or prancing coltishly across the stage, vocalist Siouxsie Sioux, reigning queen of the midnight brigade, lent an energized, theatrical physicality to her patented vocal array of strident, swooping moans and wails. Misery and mystery never sounded or looked so good. Though even the pyrotechnics of drummer Budgie and Sioux's gothic presence couldn't save a mid-set slump, Friday's show fitfully embodied the song title that defines the Banshees' effect: "Spellbound." The group is due at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on Saturday.