April 14, 2017

New Order played Radio City Music Hall

Post-punk and electronic luminaries New Order played Radio City as a warm-up for their appearance at Coachella and a short California tour. 

Dusting off hits from across their vast career, New Order mashed up their fan favored classics with a good amount of newer material giving the crowd a range of tunes varying from hard-techno to synth-pop bliss. Over four decades, the band has aged with distinct style and grace, rarely showing their age and still pulling off their eternal cool. Sure, their sound is an instant hallmark to the 1980s, and while their music feels so essential of the time, it has also become timeless. Still, it's no question that Radio City is a world class venue, yet New Order still put on a nearly flawless performance. Their sound was perfectly manicured and polished, pristine and full of life. Perhaps they could've played more of the hits, but every track they did play was performed to near perfection and dazzling visuals elevated the music to another level. The industrial scene of England in the late '70s and early '80s backdropped the set for the beginning of the night before bold shapes and retro grids composed of bright neons took over to highlight the nostalgic vibes and compliment the stunning sounds. "Your Silent Face" was a slight shift from the upbeat dance numbers as cascading waves and glistening synths evoked tranquility and beauty, touching on the gentler side of their spectrum.  Shimmering synths rained down and industrial beats permeated the crowd with a driving force highlighting their widespread sphere of influence over the entire indie-rock cannon. A punching rhythm took the room by storm as the build resulted into a sensational and unexpected "Bizarre Love Triangle," leading to a crowd simultaneously experiencing pure elation. However, it was the finale of "True Faith" followed by "Blue Monday" and ending with "Temptation" that was rather surreal and truly one of the more memorable and electric performances I've ever seen. For the encore they brought out the Joy Division classics many hoped for but thought they wouldn't hear. Blurry images of Ian Curtis flashed behind the band and just as they burst into "Love Will Tear Us Apart" a message of Joy Division Forever appeared on the screen to remind us all that the music can live on and never really die. It was nice to see such an esteemed band really deliver a top-level performance and really just hit their stride as professionals to deliver a high quality show. It's hard to ask of anything more from a band that has helped shape the course of underground music for nearly four decades and never seemed to lose their edge.

Set list:

01 "Singularity"
02 "Regret"
03 "Love Vigilantes"
04 "Crystal"
05 "Restless"
06 "Superheated"
07 "Your Silent Face"
08 "Tutti Frutti"
09 "Bizarre Love Triangle"
10 "Waiting for the Sirens' Call"
11 "Plastic"
12 "The Perfect Kiss"
13 "True Faith
14 "Blue Monday
15 "Temptation
16 "Decades" [Joy Division cover]
17 "Love Will Tear Us Apart"[Joy Division Cover]

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