The lights would come down, the crowd's voices would hush and the band would appear on stage. Steve in his dark jacket, black jeans and boots; Dennis calm and unflappable as he climbed behind his drum kit; Mark, the bassist, all blond, lank and affable grin; Paul B, the crazed guitarist, with his ponytail and tool chest of props waiting in the wings. Just their appearance fueled the anticipation. Steve, Hitchcock-like, worked the suspense, stretching it - starting out with a quiet song, his fingers barely grazing the strings, his voice a foreboding whisper. Slowly building it, note upon note until suddenly, like long-awaited thunder the guitars exploded, the drums crashed and the bass throbbed. Steve's voice got higher and higher, thinner and scarcer, his words spelling darkness and danger, his hands trembling, his head shaking the word ''no''- at which point you, the spectator, forgot you were part of a crowd, forgot there was any space separating you from the music, forgot there was a world that existed outside of songs like ''John Coltrane Stereo Blues'', ''Now I Ride Alone'', and ''The Side I'll Never Show''. Because during these moments, nothing else DID exist - the Dream Syndicate obliterated it all.