Peter Hook continues his quest to play every song New Order recorded (at least, the songs he played on) and on his current tour with his band The Light, he's playing 1989's Technique and 1993's Republic in full. That tour hit NYC's Brooklyn Steel on Friday night (10/25) for a fun, sometimes surreal, show. Technique was more successful than Republic as a) it's a much better album, and b) it plays to The Light's strengths as a rock band. Like many of the New Order's '80s albums, Technique splits the difference between electronic songs and guitar-bass-drums ones and the latter -- "Run," "Guilty Partner," "Love Less" -- all sounded pretty great, as did album closer "Dream Attack" (one of New Order's all-time best deep cuts). Those songs, and most of Technique, don't really get played by New Order these days so it was just a treat to hear somebody play them live.

Republic, on the other hand, is almost all dance-oriented, with the second half of the album being pretty weak (like "Chemical," or the cringey, half-rapped "Times Change"), and it just doesn't feature that much of Hook's signature bass. I was actually expecting Hook to add in more bass parts, but that didn't really happen. Republic is not without its gems; the album opens with New Order's biggest U.S. hit, "Regret" (which they still play live) and most of Side 1 is enjoyable, while Side 2 has "Special" which, with Hook's bass driving the whole song, is special indeed.

In addition to the two albums, the night was bookended by sets of favorites from other points in Hook's career. The night opened with a six-song set of Joy Division songs, including "No Love Lost," "Isolation," and "Atmosphere," which he dedicated to his wife's mother, who had died earlier in the week.

The encore set opened with what Hook said was the first-ever U.S. performance of New Order's 1990 England World Cup anthem, "World in Motion," and he brought up a couple friends for the part of the song originally rapped by England's World Cup team. A kitschy song then, "World in Motion" has not aged well but it was sorta nostalgically charming on Friday night with a large expat contingent in the crowd chanting "Eng-Ger-Land!" during the chorus.

I personally would've rather heard "What Do You Want From Me," the 1997 UK hit by Hook's band Monaco which would've mostly fit the timeline of this tour. Monaco's singer, David Potts, is guitarist in The Light and is a dead-ringer, vocally, for New Order's Bernard Sumner. He sings lead on some of the New Order songs on these tours, and should probably sing more than he does (Hook's lower register is much better suited to Joy Division).

After "World in Motion," it was a string of early New Order classics ("Blue Monday," "True Faith," "Ceremony" and "Temptation") with Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" closing out the nearly three-hour show. Setlist is below.

Opening on this tour is Night Dreamer, a duo featuring current Smashing Pumpkins member Jeff Schroeder. I missed their set but pictures of it, and the whole night are in the gallery above.

SETLIST: Peter Hook & The Light @ Brooklyn Steel 10/25/2019
No Love Lost (Joy Division)
Isolation (Joy Division)
Interzone (Joy Division)
Colony (Joy Division)
Insight (Joy Division)
Atmosphere (Joy Division)
Fine Time (New Order)
All the Way (New Order)
Love Less (New Order)
Round & Round (New Order)
Guilty Partner (New Order)
Run (New Order)
Mr. Disco (New Order)
Vanishing Point (New Order)
Dream Attack (New Order)
Regret (New Order)
World (New Order)
Ruined in a Day (New Order)
Spooky (New Order)
Everyone Everywhere (New Order)
Young Offender (New Order)
Liar (New Order)
Chemical (New Order)
Times Change (New Order)
Special (New Order)

World in Motion (New Order)
Blue Monday (New Order)
True Faith (New Order)
Ceremony (New Order)
Temptation (New Order)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)


photos by Ester Segretto

More From Brooklyn Vegan