No band epitomizes my youth more than New Order and everything old is new again with the English band’s stellar new album Music Complete. If you go see New Order live, you discover they’re more rock and techno, and I love that.
They opened with ‘Singularity’ from the new album and then what Bernard Sumner described as Joy Division’s last song, ‘Ceremony.’ For you young-ins reading this, New Order was formed in 1980, a year after the suicide of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the ’70s English punk band Joy Division. Surviving members launched post-punk New Order and they would go on to perfect their signature electronic and heavy synth styling from the early ’80s New York club scene. Thirty+ years later, they opened their new tour in a venue far from those old clubs – Radio City Music Hall.
‘Academic’ was next on their setlist, the song’s premiere live debut. Other highlights from the new record include ‘Restless,’ ‘Tutti Frutti’ and ‘People on the High Line,’ which was yes – inspired by people on the Highline in New York City when the band last visited New York in 2012. ‘Plastic’ is perhaps their finest track on the new album and turned me and my pal Brian out. Our only gripe was that keyboardist Gillian Gilbert’s vocals could not be heard, if they were even performed at all. We love you, Gillian. Let’s hear ya.
The night would not have been complete without the gems of their songbook, ‘Bizarre Love Triangle,’ which will forever remind me of building homecoming floats in high school (don’t ask me why), ‘True Faith,’ ‘Temptation’ and one of my all-time favorites, ‘The Perfect Kiss.’ It’s all about that 1987 compilation album, Substance.
They closed with two Joy Division songs, ‘Atmosphere’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart.’ Sadly, Radio City’s 11 p.m. curfew forced the band to cut ‘Blue Monday’ from the setlist. While I was blue for a moment, I got over it. In the age of consent, you can’t deny the greatness of this band after all these years. I’m content.