Bauhaus | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Bauhaus 

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Who'd have thunk it'd only take 25 years for the mainstream music press to change its take on Bauhaus from universal disrespect to almost unanimous reverence? This spring the band reunited to steal the show at Coachella, and now fawning magazine articles litter their path like rose petals; encouraged, the band may even put out a new album, more than two decades after Burning From the Inside. The inexorable clockwork of the retro mill should certainly get some of the credit--goth's pallid corpse is due its second day in the sun any minute now--but even in the early 80s these fey princes of darkness deserved better than to be dismissed as preening poseurs. Sure, they were art-school kids aping heroes like Iggy, Bowie, and Eno, but with their sophisticated yet straightforward fusion of those influences they created a new holy trinity for a certain class of fancy lad; their stylized black-and-white aesthetic, half Weimar Berlin and half Edwardian London, still turns up in everything from Tim Burton to Lemony Snicket to the Suicide Girls. They were in fact the first postpunk art-rock outfit, and at their best--as on the still-astonishing The Sky's Gone Out--they were worthy heirs to Ernst, Duchamp, Artaud, and the rest of the phantasmagorical modernists they arguably idolized most of all. No one in the band has exactly been wandering the wilderness in rags since 1983--they've all had subsequent successes, in Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets, and solo--but it's nice to see the original undertaking get its due. Especially because, as with the Beatles or the Police, the noblest efforts of the individual members just can't compare to the output of the fully functioning whole. See also Wednesday. Tue 11/8, 7:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, $35. All ages.

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