Entries tagged with: New Order
by Bill Pearis
New Order's new album, Music Complete, is out today (9/25) and you can stream it via Apple Music or, via Rdio, below. Despite it being a little long (65 minutes), made without Peter Hook, but packed with guests, it's easily the most "New Order"-sounding album since Republic, going half-and-half between their guitar-y and danceable sides. "Tutti Frutti," with backing vocals from La Roux's Ely Jackson, could've been on Technique and sports the album's best chorus, and "Nothing but a Fool" recalls "Your Silent Face" (and Brotherhood's "All Day Long") in the best possible ways. Even "Stray Dog," with Iggy Pop growling spoken word, is better than it sounds on paper. Weirdly, first single "Restless" is probably the least interesting thing on the album. (I'm not crazy about album-closer "Superheated," with The Killers' Brandon Flowers, either.) So, if you want, skip straight to "Singularity" and dive into Music Complete, below.
Also: while listening, maybe read the BV interview with New Order's Gillian Gilbert.
New Order have revealed a second song off their new album Music Complete, "Plastic." We recently mentioned that much of the new album is a return to their danceable synthpop, and this new one is no exception. Listen below.
If you haven't read it yet, check out Bill's interview with New Order's Gillian Gilbert. Here's an excerpt about their songwriting process:
In the very early days, we used to just jam a lot. But then Bernard got into sequencers and came up with a few basslines. I joined and I didn't know how to write songs, and it was completely mesmerizing to see the other three jam and record everything. We would record everything on a really cheap two-track so when you listened back it wasn't a pure sound, you couldn't really differentiate between instruments. It was just like a general sound that suggested notes but made you think "oh I'll do that." I remember doing the bassline to "Age of Consent" -- it was only two notes but you think "Yeaahhhh!" I was so proud of those two notes! Bernard and Stephen were really into the technology and I used to play stuff that Bernard told me to play because there wasn't a sequencer that could do that many tracks. So I had to learn how to play precisely by pretending to be a sequencer, which was a feat in itself. There's not that many people that can do that.Read the rest here.
by Bill Pearis
details of a NYC new album listening party are also below...
New Order's Music Complete is out September 25 and it marks a number of firsts. It's the first album without bassist Peter Hook, and their first for new label, Mute Records. It's also the first album in 14 years to feature original member Gillian Gilbert. Married to drummer Stephen Morris (they have made music together as The Other Two), Gilbert dropped out of the band during the making of 2001's Get Ready to care for their daughter. When the band, minus Hook (who acrimoniously left the band in the late-'00s), reformed for benefit gigs in 2011, Gilbert rejoined. (That lineup toured North America in 2013.) Her return also marks a return to the dancefloor for New Order, as Music Complete is loaded with the sparking synthpop that marked some of their best-loved songs. At 65 minutes, it's also their longest studio album to date.
Mute has kept a tight lid on Music Complete, save for first single "Restless," but folks in NYC can hear it a day early at a listening party on September 24 at Donna. In addition to playing the album in full, you can buy the vinyl that night and there will be New Order-themed cocktails. It's free (21+) but capacity is limited.
Taking time out from band rehearsals at her and Morris'farmhouse/studio in Cheshire, Gillian Gilbert talked to us about being back in New Order, tour plans, the band's songwriting process, why "you can't beat a bit of cheese" and lots more.
BV: So what are you up to today? All interviews like this?
Gillian: No, we're at our home, rehearsing in our studio all day. We just finished, so winding down now.
How are the rehearsals going?
They're going very well! We just started this week because we've got a live radio show that we're doing for the BBC. That's in three weeks. We've not played together for a year, so it's pretty strange learning everything again. It's like, "Oh my god..." [Laughs].
Not only relearning old songs but trying to figure out how to play your new songs live.
I know, yeah. We've got three favorites so we're trying to learn those. It's going down OK.
New Order have released the video for "Restless," the first single off their new album Music Complete, due out in September via Mute. The band have a long tradition of striking music videos, and here director NYSU reimagines a medieval world of knights and kings as if, maybe, Larry Clark and Ridley Scott had made it. Watch below...
Tony Wilson, who founded Factory Records (home to Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays and more), died on this day (August 10) in 2007 and in tribute, poet Mike Garry and musician Joe Duddell have recorded a single titled "St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson." Set to an orchestral version of New Order's "Your Silent Face," the video for it, directed by Mark Thomas, features a who's who of Manchester, including Steve Coogan (who played Wilson in 24 Hour Party People), New Order's Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris, Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder and Rowetta, The Durutti Column's Vini Reilly, Factory Sleeve designer Peter Saville, punk poet John Cooper Clarke, actor Christopher Eccleston, plus Iggy Pop, journalists Miranda Sawyer and Paul Morley, Hacienda DJs Mike Pickering and Andrew Weatheral... and more. Watch it, a check out the full list of folks in it, below.
"St. Anthony: An Ode To Anthony H Wilson" is out as a 12" single August 14.
by Bill Pearis
New Order have shared the first single from their new album, Music Complete, which is the band's first for Mute and will be out in September. While the return of Gillian Gilbert to the fold has given hope for the electronic side of the band, "Restless" is in "Crystal" mode: sleek danceable rock that is distinctly New Order. You get Bernard Sumner's off-the-cuff lyrical style and, yes, there is still that bass style -- even if it's not Peter Hook playing it. Not bad, but not surprising. Stream it below.
The band have fall tour dates in Europe and the UK, including two nights in their Manchester hometown. None announced for North America, stay tuned. All dates are listed below.
by Bill Pearis
New Order have been working on a new album -- their first for Mute Records -- and if you're wondering when that's going to be ready, they've just announced Music Complete. That is both the answer and the name of the new album which will be out September 25. (Did they come up with the title after texting Mute a status update?) The album was produced by the band, apart from two tracks which were produced by Chemical Brothers' Tom Rowlands and one track by Stuart Price. Peter Saville, as always, provides art direction. Cover art and tracklist are below. This also marks the first New Order album Gillian Gilbert has been a part of since 2001's Get Ready -- but as you'll recall, Peter Hook is out. Will the LP feature his signature style of bass-playing? You can get a brief taste of what's to come via a Music Complete teaser trailer below.
by Bill Pearis
Long-running Manchester band The Charlatans released their 12th album, Modern Nature, this week. It's their first album in five years and first since the death of drummer Jon Brookes who lost his battle with brain cancer in 2013. In his place, the band used three different temporary drummers on the album: Stephen Morris of New Order, Peter Salisbury of The Verve, and Gabriel Gurnsey of Factory Floor. Sean O'Hagan of High Llamas did the string arrangements. The Charlatans have managed a remarkably consistent catalog over the last 25 years. Modern Nature is no different, settling into a comfortable groove with some very good songs. The band's signature elements (hammond organ, bongos) are still intact without really calling attention to themselves either. It's a really nice record. You can check out videos for singles "Come Home Baby" and "So Oh" below.
The Charlatans last visited North America in 2010. Let's hope they come back for this album (which doesn't have a US release date at the moment).
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
The Sidekicks / All Dogs @ Baby's All Right - 1/23/15
The Sidekicks released their fourth album, Runners in the Nerved World, last week on Epitaph and began their tour in support of it with a BrooklynVegan-presented release show in NYC on Friday (1/23) at Baby's All Right with Cayetana, All Dogs and Roger Harvey.
Roger, who only has a few songs out at the moment, kicked off the show and took the chance to preview a handful of songs from his TBA debut album. Recorded, Roger has a lot more layers and instrumentation (that sound most directly influenced by Neutral Milk Hotel, who he covered at the show), but live they were mostly a standard rock trio, save four the two songs they brought out a trumpet player on.
All Dogs were next, with the most traditionally "punk" set of the evening. We were just saying the other day how diverse singer Maryn Jones is with her various projects, but All Dogs gives her the chance to just rock the hardest. We got some highlights off their EPs, their new single "Georgia," and one song ended with Maryn incorporating a punked-up rendition of the chorus to Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs." They were great, and the place was packed for them.
It stayed packed for their past tourmates Cayetana, who really do just get better every time I see them. Their live show is so sharp, and singer Augusta Koch's voice cuts through over the music in a way that indie rock bands of their style can tend to shy away from. They played most of their 2014 debut, Nervous Like Me, and included a cover of New Order's "Age of Consent," which they said they'd never played live before. They did that cover again at their Philly show the following night, which you can watch a video of below.
Finally The Sidekicks wrapped up the night with their headlining set that began on a high note (new album opener "Hell Is Warm") and pretty much stayed on that level the whole time. The crowd actually seemed a little smaller for them than Cayetana and All Dogs, but The Sidekicks also had the biggest fans -- a handful of people up front were pushing/moshing and yelling along the whole time. Their new album is a new direction from the band, ditching their punk roots more than ever before (not that 2012's Awkward Breeds is exactly a Ramones album or anything), and sounding more like the first two Band of Horses and first three Shins albums. But unlike most bands who came in Band of Horses' wake, The Sidekicks do have that strong punk background and it made their live show all the more exciting. They mastered the art of being a live band years ago, but adding in the widescreen grandiosity of these new songs made for the most unstoppable Sidekicks set I've seen yet.
More pictures from Baby's, and the Cayetana video from Philly, below...
As you may know, in addition to the April Record Store Day, there's a RSD Black Friday (November 28) too, with its own exclusive releases. The list for this year's is out now and features releases from The Afghan Whigs, Against Me!, The Beatles, David Bowie, The Decemberists, The Flaming Lips, The Grateful Dead, Green Day, Husker Du, Iron Butterfly, J Mascis, Judas Priest, Jenny Lewis, Mastodon, Metallica, New Order, Conor Oberst, Outkast, Phil Spector, St Vincent, The Doors, Ramones, They Might Be Giants, Johnny Thunders, Wu-Tang Clan, Neil Young and more. Check out the full list here.
by Bill Pearis
As mentioned, New Order singer Bernard Sumner has just released autobiography Chapter & Verse (which some retailers are listing the title as Divided Joy: Chapter & Verse) that goes from his childhood through his time in Joy Division and New Order, including his contentious relationship with ex-bassist Peter Hook. Billboard has a review of the book up today, written by... Peter Hook who, unsurprisingly, didn't think much of it and found "a disappointing lack of revelation and attention to detail." An excerpt:
Reading the book I began to wonder if Bernard ever had an argument with anyone who wasn't called Peter Hook? He neglects to remember that in 1993 he fell out with Steve and Gillian over an interview where they said they wrote most of Republic. Bernard went mad and refused to speak to them or work with them again. He used to fall out with Rob [Gretton, the band's now-deceased manager] all the time -- mainly about money -- and he used to fall out with Tony [Wilson, the late co-founder of Factory Records] all the time too. Yet, according to Chapter And Verse, he's never had an argument or a mardy strop with anyone but me? Come on Barney....Read the rest at Billboard. Hook, who is also writing a memoir about New Order, says he did enjoy the parts about Sumner's youth in Manchester borough of Salford. The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, Hook's memoirs of the famed Manchester club New Order owned with Factory Records, is an entertaining read, honest and funny, recommended. He's also written a memoir on Joy Division, which I keep meaning to pick up.
In my opinion, the thing that he hated in New Order is that there was someone who would not go along with everything he wanted to do. We banged heads all the time and always have done ever since we started out. That's what always made our music so exciting and intense.
New Order, minus Hook, have signed with Mute and will release a record sooner than later. Meanwhile, Peter Hook & the Light will be touring soon, playing New Order's Low-Life and Brotherhood in full, stopping in NYC at Irving Plaza on November 7. Tickets are still available.
Mute signees New Order (who no longer count Peter Hook as a member) have now launched a Joy Division Twitter account, but apparently no one told Peter Hook and he doesn't sound too happy about that. As you can see above, New Order tweeted, "Just set up our new twitter page @joydivision," and Peter responded not long after, "Thanks for telling me.. As a member of @joydivision it would have been nice to have been informed." Drama! New Order have yet to reply to Peter.
New Order & Mute's Daniel Miller clink glasses, sign contract...
Mute Records have signed New Order and will release the band's next album. Says label head Daniel Miller:
This is an exciting new chapter for both Mute and New Order and I feel privileged to be working with artists with such a long, creative and successful history. When the possibility of us working together first came up, I was invited to hear some of the new material and immediately had no doubts whatsoever that Mute would be the right home for New Order. We've already had a number of creative conversations, and I am looking towards an exciting futureNew Order are now labelmates with Depeche Mode, Erasure, Liars, and more. As for what to expect: in an interview with Consequence of Sound, singer Bernard Sumner has hinted that a James Murphy collaboration could be in their future. (DFA denies it, though.) Stay tuned.
In other news, Bernard Sumner will release an autobiography, titled Chapter And Verse, on September 25 via Transworld. And former bassist Peter Hook will soon be touring North America, playing New Order's Low-Life and Brotherhood in full.
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
La Roux @ Greek Theatre LA 7/13/2014 (photo via @greektheatre)
La Roux, whose new album Trouble in Paradise will be out next week, was on the West Coast this past weekend, opening for New Order in San Francisco and LA. She'll be back this fall on a North American tour and though there hasn't been an official announcement yet, a few dates of the tour have popped up, including NYC's on October 3 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (7/18) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (7/16) at noon.
photos by Chris La Putt
Iggy Pop with New Order // Sufjan Stevens with The National
The 24th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert took place at Carnegie Hall last night (3/11) with Patti Smith, New Order, Iggy Pop, The National, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Randolph, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, and many more.
As always, the night featured many collaborations--Iggy Pop with New Order, Sufjan Stevens with The National, Nico Muhly with Philip Glass, and so on. Headliner Patti Smith also paid tribute to the late Lou Reed by covering Transformer's "Perfect Day." Video footage of Iggy Pop and New Order playing Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Transmission," and NO's own "Californian Grass" are in this post. UPDATE: Footage of The National and Sufjan Stevens performing "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," "This Is the Last Time," and "I Need My Girl" can also be found below.
More pictures, those videos, and the full Tibet House US 24th Annual Benefit setlist lie after the jump...
by Bill Pearis
Peter Hook is continuing to work his way through the New Order catalog, touring two albums at a time. This fall he and his band The Light will be performing 1985's Low-Life and 1986's Brotherhood in full. They'll also be their own opener, doing a set of Joy Division songs to start the evening. Those dates include a stop in NYC at Irving Plaza on November 7. Tickets to the NYC show go on sale Friday (3/7) at 10 AM with a Music Geeks presale starting Thursday (3/6) at 10 AM (password is "musicgeeks"). All dates are listed below.
As someone who thinks Low-Life is New Order's best album, I have to admit getting to hear deep cuts "Sunrise," "Sooner Than You Think" and "Face Up" (and Brotherhood songs "Weirdo" and "Way of Life"), which New Order haven't played in eons, is kinda appealing. Hook's plowing through his ex-band's discography is getting weird, though. When he toured Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies last year, those were early records where the through-line to Joy Division was still obvious. But these mid-'80s records, New Order had fully established their own identity and it's really hard to think of these songs without Bernard Sumner, Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris.
To get a good look at New Order (who play the Tibet House benefit soon) in this mid-'80s creative peak, you can watch concert video Pumped Full of Drugs, filmed in Tokyo in 1985, which is pretty great. Stream it, with the list of tour dates, below...
Sasquatch! Music Festival is returning for two weekends in 2014 to The Gorge in Quincy, Washington, and the lineups (which are different both weekends) have just been announced. The May lineup (5/23 - 5/25, aka Memorial Day Weekend) includes Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., Haim, Neko Case, Foals, Cut Copy, Violent Femmes, Elbow, Mogwai, Tyler the Creator, Chance the Rapper, Rudimental, Phantogram, tUnE-yArDs, First Aid Kit, Rodriguez, AlunaGeorge, Panda Bear, Phosphorescent, Bob Mould, Washed Out, Austra, Parquet Courts, Deafheaven, Big Freedia, Liars, Waxahatchee, Tacocat, Princess (feat. Maya Rudolph), Bridget Everett, Eric Andre and more.
The July lineup (7/4 - 7/6, aka Independence Day Weekend) includes Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp + Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Broken Bells, Tegan & Sara, Local Natives, Gogol Bordello, Rhye, Black Angels, Deltron 3030, The Horrors, Junip, The Notwist, Kurt Vile, Talib Kweli, of Montreal, Action Bronson, Punch Brothers, Sharon Van Etten, Casey Veggies, RL Grime, Fuck Buttons, Courtney Barnett, Cloud Nothings, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Mikal Cronin, Mac DeMarco, Jon Hopkins, Gold Panda, Majical Cloudz, Duke Dumont, Oneohtrix Point Never, Death, Black Prairie, Latryx, Metz, John Grant, Reigning Sound, Young & Sick, Chad VanGaalen, Mutual Benefit, Helms Alee, Demetri Martin, Eugene Mirman, Kurt Braunohler, John Hodgman and more. There will also be fireworks for the 4th of July.
Tickets (including a 2-weekend pass option) go on sale Saturday at 10 AM.
Full lineups for both weekends below...
Iggy Pop at SXSW 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)
The annual Tibet House Benefit Concert is returning for its 24th year on March 11 at Carnegie Hall. As usual, artistic director Philip Glass is performing and has a typically amazing lineup of Bryce Dessner (of The National), Nico Muhly, Iggy Pop, New Order, Patti Smith (who also played last year), Techung and Joe Walsh. Tickets are on sale now and proceeds will benefit the Tibet House US.
Lollapalooza (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The press release below sums it all up:
photos by Toby Tenenbaum
Kendrick Lamar / New Order / Jessie Ware
While they might not realize it, many of today's popular electro acts owe a debt to New Order, a seminal electronic dance band that formed from the ashes of Joy Division more than three decades ago. As the sun set over Osheaga, the British post-punk group delivered a lengthy set that spanned the better part of their career and included hits "Blue Monday," "Perfect Kiss," "True Faith" and "Bizarre Love Triangle," the '80s dance anthem that caused the sizable crowd to reach a fever pitch. "Nice to see you've got a bit of the English weather," frontman Bernard Sumner quipped as storm clouds gathered overhead. While founding bassist Peter Hook was absent from the proceedings (he chose to go his own way a few years ago and parted on less than amicable terms), new guys Tom Chapman and Phil Cunningham proved themselves up to the challenge of living up to the band's legacy. Before handing over the main field to Osheaga's closing headliners, they performed three seminal Joy Division tunes including the legendary "Love Will Tear Us Apart," leaving the stage on a blissfully dark high note. [Under the Radar]Montreal's 2013 Osheaga Festival wrapped up on Sunday (8/4). We already posted pictures of day 1 and pictures of day 2, and here's a set of pictures from day 3 in this post. On the festival's final day, we saw sets from Mumford & Sons, New Order, Kendrick Lamar, Charles Bradley, Jessie Ware, Frightened Rabbit, and more. That day also included sets (that we unfortunately missed) by Hot Chip, Big Boi, Father John Misty, Disclosure, Holy Ghost! and more.
More day 3 pictures below...
photos by James Richards IV
Nine Inch Nails / Chance the Rapper / the crowd
Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor breaks into the explicit chorus of "Closer" and a spasm of impressionistic dancing breaks out among the fans stretched out to the south end of Butler Field. Has the Man from the Black Hole of '90s Industrial Music turned into a nostalgia act? Despite a set list dusted with vintage material, Reznor sounds like anything but a relic. The exceptional audio quality of the festival's northermost stage underlines not just the oppressive thrust of Reznor's music, but its eerie subtleties and darkly beautiful colorations as well. After a five-year hiatus, Reznor has retooled the band yet again, with a new album on the way. But everything still revolves around the leader and his exacting standards. A new song declares, "I'm just trying to find my way," but he hardly seems lost. - [Chicago Tribune]A somewhat soggy start to Lollapalooza on Friday (8/2), but that didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits at Chicago's Grant Park, where bands played across eight stages. Here's a set of pictures from Friday night, featuring Nine Inch Nails, New Order, Band of Horses, Father John Misty, Chicago's own Chance the Rapper and more. We've got a second set of pics from Friday HERE
Lollapalooza continues today (8/3) with a much better weather forecast and sets from The Postal Service, HAIM, The National, Local Natives, and more. If you're going today, be sure to stop by the Soundwave Tent where BrooklynVegan will be hosting from 1 PM - 3 PM with hosts Chris Gethard and Billy Jones and the following guests:
12:40 p.m. - Local Natives (performance and interview)If you're not in Chicago (or in Chicago but not at Lollapalooza), some of today's performances are being streamed live. Here's today's webcast schedule (in Central Time):
1:00 p.m. - IO Echo (interview)
1:30 p.m. - Smith Westerns (interview)
2:00 p.m. - Drowners (performance and interview)
2:20 p.m. - School of Rock
2:30 p.m. - Heartless Bastards (performance and interview)
2:15PM - BEN HOWARDUPDATE: Day 2 pics (part 1) and day 2 pics (part 2), and day 3 pics (part 1) and day 3 pics (part 2) are up now too.
3:00PM - COURT YARD HOUNDS
4:00PM - LOCAL NATIVES
5:00PM - ELLIE GOULDING
6:00PM - THE NATIONAL
7:15PM - THE LUMINEERS
8:30PM - THE POSTAL SERVICE
10:00PM - MUMFORD & SONS
More pics from Lollapalooza day 1, plus live video of Nine Inch Nails performing new songs, below...
Ghost BC @ MHOW last week (more by Vladislav Grach)
Kendrick Lamar @ Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
New Order at Williamsburg Park last week (more by PSquared Photography)
Lollapalooza 2013 happens this weekend (August 2 - 4) in Chicago's Grant Park (and some of it will stream online). We'll be there watching bands on all the stages and hosting them in the Soundwave Tent every day from 1 PM - 3 PM (and from 12:40 on Saturday).
The Lolla line-up is pretty great this year, full of big names with a lot of choices (and the occasional tough decision to be made between competing stages). Here are thirteen bands (plus a few more) we don't want to miss....
photos by PSquared Photography; words by Bill Pearis
New Order @ Williamsburg Park, 7/24/2013
I already reviewed Wednesday's super-fun, hit-filled, crowd-pleasing New Order show at Williamsburg Park, and now here's a set of pictures from the show, including openers Holy Ghost! I thought the show seemed especially packed, and turns out it was the biggest-selling show at Williamsburg Park to date. The next day (7/25), New Order stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where they played classic Low-Life opener "Love Vigilantes," and stuck around for a web-exclusive performance of 1993 single "Regret." Watch both below.
If you need more New Order songs played live in NYC, estranged bassist Peter Hook will be here with his band The Light, playing his old band's first two albums in full in September. Meanwhile, check out more pictures from NO's Williamsburg Park show below.
by Bill Pearis
New Order @ Williamsburg Park, 7/24/2013 (via @panenka4x)
Sometimes even the most familiar songs have the ability to transfix. New Order's "Blue Monday" is their most famous song, which remains the biggest-selling 12" single of all time, and has been released in various forms a handfull of times. It is a song I don't think I need to ever hear again and, yet, last night (7/24) at Williamsburg Park, near the end of the song when the arpeggiated guitar lines begin weaving their way in, I heard something new. The perfect weather and good vibes crowd may have had something to do with it, too.
I've seen New Order a few times over the years, including a couple times with the original line-up. While bassist Peter Hook's presence is missed -- his playing style can be emulated, but his rocker look and low-slung bass are nearly as iconic -- it kinda seemed clear that the other members of the band don't feel that way. Despite Bernard Summer playing on a broken leg (no crutches though), they definitely seemed to be having more fun than the couple times I've seen them since they reactivated in 2000 and this was easily the most hit-filled set I've ever seen them do.
Hook's acrimonious departure and Gillian Gilbert's return to the live band (mostly keyboards) also has brought back a little more of the dancier numbers to the setlist. Last night we got "World" from Republic (which doesn't really feature much Hook-style bass, a point of contention at the time), and revamped versions of Power, Corruption & Lies' "5 8 6" and Joy Division's "Isolation," the latter of which was made into a housey dance anthem (which I thought worked pretty well).
There were also classics like "Ceremony," "Age of Consent," "Your Silent Face," "Love Vigilantes," "Bizzare Love Triangle" and more. The three-song encore was all Joy Division, ending with "Love Will Tear Us Apart" that also got a bit of a rework, with the keyboard line downplayed in favor of a more guitar pop arrangement. Personally, I could've done without any Joy Division songs and had more New Order, if it had meant getting maybe "Thieves Like Us," and a couple from Technique which they skipped entirely.
On the downside, for a band that is known for having some of the most amazing sleeve designs of the last 30 years, last night's show featured maybe the worst projections I've ever seen at a concert, some of which looked like '90s-era screensavers. During "Here to Stay" there was a vector graphics image of a keyboard's "CTRL" key floating around and 3-D imaged lyrics on screen. If there's one thing New Order don't need, it's attention called to their lyrics. While the images may have originated from designer Peter Saville (and some of their videos), the execution was a little distracting at times. Of course this is also a band whose singer played in a silver metallic Joy Division shirt. You could always just dance with your eyes closed.
Apart from that, I had a blast and so did the crowd at Williamsburg Park who were singing along through most of it. Which was good, as Sumner forgot the lyrics and came in at the wrong time more than once. Drummer Stephen Morris, however, remains an insanely accurate human drum machine, hammering away 16th notes for most of the show's 100-minute length.
Opening the show, the most packed Williamsburg Park show since the venue opened, were Holy Ghost! who are pretty openly New Order devotees (their video for "I Will Come Back" is basically a shot-for-shot remake of New Order's "Confusion"), especially that '83-'84 period when they were working with Arthur Baker. The band were six strong last night, including one guy whose job seemed to be controlling the massive racks of modular synths they brought with them. A nice lead-in to the evening.
Pictures from the show are coming later. Meanwhile, you can check out New Order's setlist, below.