Friday, October 19, 2012

Live Review - New Order @ Roseland

After seven years, a few legal battles with a former member, an addition to an original member and some replacement players, New Order returned to New York City. After a few years of battling it out in the press with former bassist, Peter Hook - who left in 2007, the 80's new wave and elecronica legends were welcomed back with open arms to the Big Apple for the first of two sold-out gigs at the historic Roseland Ballroom in Midtown.

Arriving after 9p.m. on stage, it was a heroes cheer and thunderous applause as Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Phil Cunningham and new bassist, Tom Chapman walked out to Sergio Leone's theme to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. "Obviously we are New Order. Sorry for the delay, got held up by your president. If I was American, I would vote for Barack Obama, he is one cool guy," Sumner said and divided the room into cheers and jeers before even playing a single note. "But, I am not American," Sumner cheekily then said, and grabbing his guitar and the band broke out into the opening song, the instrumental electronic waltz, "Elegia," it was then directly into "Crystal" that began the dance party of the Autumn. As the band performed under a massive screen that projected their music videos, and various graphics, it was the video for "Crystal" that gained much buzz around Roseland, at it was the video that inspired Brandon Flowers of The Killers to name his band after the fictitious band in that video. It was then the band broke out into their first single, "Ceremony," that had then turned Roseland into Manchester, England's, Hacienda club that the band helped launch and played many nights when they formed from the ashes of Joy Division. In between songs Sumner would thank all the fans for waited for New Order to return, he would also talk about the events they had encountered on the road and all of their years together as a band. Thanks to a brilliant light show and a catalogue of songs that outdoes the last, for the 105 minutes they were on stage, it was a reminder why their music is timeless and why everyone in the room was starting their weekend early. Hit-after-hit from "Age of Consent,""Bizarre Love Triangle," "True Faith," "The Perfect Kiss," and "Blue Monday," New Order were gone for a long time, but not forgotten, in fact cemented the reason why they were worth the wait.

As the first set ended with "Temptation," the band retreated to the wings and took a brief break before coming back for an encore that paid tribute to Ian Curtis, the late singer of Sumner, Morris and Hook's first band - Joy Division, who took his own life on the eve of their first U.S. tour. "It would be discourteous for us to not pay tribute to Joy Division," Sumner said to the crowd before the band broke out into the haunting and somber Joy Division track, "Atmosphere." As they played on, images from that song's music video were shown and images of Curtis were spliced in. While the mood in the room changed, it was then back to the near-perfect and closest thing Joy Division had to a pop song, "Love Will Tear Us Apart," that brought the room back to raging dance party it was previously.

As brilliant as New Order were, the one thing that kept coming to mind was the sense of nostalgia. No new songs were played, despite the fact that a new EP called Lost Sirens, which are outtakes and B-Sides from their last record, Waiting for the Sirens Call, will be released and their attachment still to Joy Division. As amazing was it all was, one of the reasons they and Hook allegedly do not work together anymore is over the Joy Division songs, Hook tours with his new band, The Light, and performs the tracks from that band and will now do it with New Order songs and gets criticized for it, while Sumner and Morris do it with the members of New Order and get praised. It is an interesting juxtaposition, however, as it happens separately, it just means double the fun for the fans, until they hopefully get back together again.

New Order Roseland Set List 10/18/12

Age of Consent
Love Vigilantes
Here to Stay
Your Silent Face
Close Range
Bizarre Love Triangle
5 8 6
True Faith
The Perfect Kiss
Blue Monday
Love Will Tear Us Apart