Words by: Chadbyrne R. Dickens | Images by: Joe Russo and Raul Rio
New Order :: 10.18.12 :: Roseland Ballroom :: New York, NY
After a seven-year hiatus from performing in The Big Apple, a British band, known for a catalog of memorable songs steeped in dark tones and themes, delivered a night of nostalgic celebration and unfettered joy to the 3,200 crazed fans at Roseland Ballroom. Despite not having a new album to promote, and the pinnacle of their success harkening back some 3 decades, the two New Order shows sold-out quickly with an infestation of scalpers selling tickets at double face value, further proving that demand far exceeded the supply.
|New Order by Joe Russo|
In 1980, Rolling Stone magazine chose “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division as the song of the year. On the eve of the band’s first US tour, morose lead singer Ian Curtis hung himself. Down and despondent, not down and out, the remaining members continued to make music, first under the moniker “The no-names”, before settling on New Order. Their computerized synthesizer-driven dance sensibility would soon overtake the changing UK and NYC dance scene as they provided anthems representing that 80’s dance floor era.
The current incarnation of New Order includes: Bernard Sumner (vocals), Gillian Gilbert (keys), Phil Cunningham (guitar/keys), Stephen Morris (drums) and Tom Chapman replacing Peter Hook on bass. The tour marks the first time co-founder Hook had not been on the road with the band, and he is widely regarded as an essential part of the band’s signature sound. After an extended wait past the expected start time, which only further fueled the angst and anticipatory excitement building throughout the intimate venue, the band took the stage as Sergio Leone’s Theme from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” pumped through the speakers. Lead singer Sumner, known for his funny quips, apologized for the band’s tardiness and chalked it up to the President’s appearance in the City, “If I were American, I’d vote for Obama, but since I am British, it’s none of my fucking business”.
In front of a loyal and energized crowd that packed the general admission Ballroom, with no new songs to perform, the band attacked 17 selections from their varied catalog, supplemented by a mesmerizing modern light show rivaling any in today’s scene. The huge projection screen behind the band added another dimension of surreal and trippy visuals, best demonstrated during “True Faith”, their biggest US hit from their commercial peak of 1987, when the video chosen by many critics as video of the year, was concurrently shown.
|New Order by Raul Rio|
Lead singer Sumner expectedly looked heavier and a bit more weathered than he once did, but his voice still projected as clear and clean as it does on the records. For a band celebrated for a breakthrough style and sound, the impressive cautionary lyrics are often overlooked by the casual listener, and a hard-core fan is cognizant that the title of any song is almost never found within the lyrics. Highlights within the string of hits was the epic opus, “Perfect Kiss” which reminded the crowd, ““I have always thought about, staying here and going out, tonight I should have stayed at home, playing with my pleasure zone” before exploring the adventurous and contagious jam that concludes the tune. Fan favorite “1963”, which is still debated in fan circles if it is written about a gay relationship or the JFK assassination, contains, ““There was too many ways that you could kill someone, like in a love affair, when the love is gone.” The crowd erupted when the British boys busted into, “Blue Monday”, so popular in its day that it remains the highest selling 12 inch single in history. After a non-stop pleasure fest, the show concluded with one of their most popular and up-tempo dance anthems, “Temptation”, the impetus for the requisite sing-a-long of another well-known New Order lyric, “Oh, you've got green eyes, oh you've got blue eyes, oh you've got grey eyes” which buoyed the decimal level to a deafening level.
|New Order by Joe Russo|
To conclude a euphoric event of nearly 2 hours straight of delicious old dandies from a band that any fans who missed them back in the day thought they may never see, Sumner said before the encore, “It would be discourteous to end the set without playing a Joy Division song,” They played two. “Atmosphere” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
New Order is regarded as one of the most influential synth-based bands. The Killers got their name from the New Order video for “Crystal.” Although they may not readily admit to it, if a musician is cognizant in musical history and working within the EDM or Jamtronica movements, they know much is owed to the influence from New Order. With their innovative risk-taking approach, through the layered meshing of heavy bass lines, guitar riffs and an extensive use of synthesizers, New Order carved out a niche devoid of any true contemporaries, while unwittingly acting as a conduit and trailblazer for a future empire of electronic pop music to follow with prominence in the next generation.
Elegia, Crystal, Ceremony, Age of Consent, Love Vigilantes, Here to Stay,Your Silent Face,1963, Close Range, Bizarre Love Triangle,5 8 6,True Faith, The Perfect Kiss, Blue Monday,Temptation
Encore: Atmosphere, Love Will Tear Us Apart
New Order Tour Dates :: New Order News
JamBase | Temptation
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