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Pop Music Review

Love and Rockets Calls It Quits With Music, Fun

May 13, 1999|STEVE HOCHMAN

"You probably thought we were being rock stars," said Love and Rockets bassist David J. at the Roxy on Monday with a sheepish grin, explaining to the audience why a momentary mid-show break stretched out to a good 15 minutes. "We weren't--we were being Spinal Tap. We got locked in the dressing room."

Is that any way to conclude a 20-year career that stretches back to their start as three-fourths of Goth icon Bauhaus? You bet. With Love and Rockets having announced that this Roxy show would be the band's final concert, the comic interlude ensured that any air of self-importance in the occasion was deflated and that the focus would be on the music.

In that regard, the group--J., his drummer brother Kevin Haskins and guitarist Daniel Ash--went out in top form. A 40-minute first portion devoted largely to recent material bridged the Bauhaus art-punk roots and '90s electronica, at times echoing both David Bowie and Pink Floyd, spiked with a spirited version of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy."

That song set the tone for the second half, with the group trotting out its earlier material and claiming its birthright as a glam-rock torch-bearer. Churning through "Kundalini Express," a signature version of "Ball of Confusion" and a rich encore of the Rolling Stones' "2000 Light Years From Home," L&R exuberantly tied together several decades of British rock--Spinal Tap happily included.

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