A month after sharing the stage of Carnegie Hall with the legendary likes of Iggy Pop for the Tibet House Benefit Concert, iconic greats New Order kicked off a handful of US dates with a sold out show at Radio City Music Hall before heading west for some Coachella sets and other California stops.
Formed in Manchester in 1980 by Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Peter Hook, New Order's inception rose from the ashes of Joy Division following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. Gillian Gilbert was added to the band on keyboards and guitar. Reeling from the loss of their front man, the band needed a new identity and found it in New Order. Becoming one of the most influential and critically acclaimed bands of the 80s, New Order combined the best of electronic, dance music and post-punk sensibilities to create a unique sound that took the world by storm. Through the years, amid incredible creativity, wild success and fascinating side projects, discord and drama prevailed. Hook left the band for good in 2007. Both Sumner and Hook have penned memoirs and bitterness remains.
The current lineup for New Order is the backbone of Sumner on vocals, guitar and synths, Morris on drums and percussion, Gilbert on keyboards and guitars plus Phil Cunningham on guitars and Tom Chapman on bass. Appearing on stage slightly after 9:00, the crowd which spanned decades in age, went wild as "All Day Long" played through the speakers as the band hit the stage. Enormous LED monitors dotted the stage behind the musicians, playing everything from song lyrics to videos and images. A plethora of strobe lights, lasers, fog machines and disco ball effects brought the visual experience up to the tight sound of the band. The band rolled out the hits, including "Regret" and "Love Vigilantes" in the first three songs as well as "Your Silent Face," "Bizarre Love Triangle," "Blue Monday" and "Temptation." Sumner and company were all business, with chatter to the crowd kept to a minimum so they could keep the music flowing, something much appreciated by the exuberant crowd. A nod to Joy Division enveloped the encores, with video footage of Curtis during "Decades" and ending the show with "Love Will Tear Us Apart" complete with the words "Joy Division Forever" emblazoned on the monitors. A fitting nod to the past and a gift to fans who felt the catharsis after a night full of dancing in the aisles.
Photos by Christine Connallon
Additional Article Contributions by Mike Perciaccante
SETLIST: New Order at Radio City Music Hall 4-13-17
All Day Long Played from Tape
Your Silent Face
Bizarre Love Triangle
Waiting for the Sirens’ Call
The Perfect Kiss
Decades (Joy Division cover)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)