I was into metal in high school. The more evil the album cover, the more it would piss off my parents, the more I liked it. It was a rebellious stage that I eventually outgrew, but being a metal kid, I got along with the punk kids as we were both outcasts. I remember the pre-hipster post punk kids and they kind of had their own thing going on—they were too cool for metal and punk, but loved Joy Division, The Cure, Thrill Kill Kult, etc.
By the time I was in my twenties, I had a lot of catching up to do. Much of the metal I listened to really didn’t translate well as I got older. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Slayer and Metallica, but somewhere around my mid twenties I went back and discovered the genius of the post-punk movement. It started with Joy Division and ended up with me becoming somewhat obsessed with New Order.
New Order took the very best elements of Joy Division and made them accessible, in a good way. The purists will say that Joy Division was the better band and that New Order really shouldn’t have happened, and I think that’s insane. New Order has delivered a home run with each album they have released since the dawn of the band back in 1980.
Fast forward 30 years, through two break-ups and a reformation, minus one founding member, and add in a feud for the ages—New Order singer songwriter Bernard Sumner and bassist Peter Hook apparently despise one another and haven’t played together since 2007. But that’s OK because each are still creating fantastic music in one way or another.
Bernard Sumner took the stage at the Fox Theater in Oakland last week along with founding members Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, and two newer members Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman. From the opening note of “Crystal” from the band’s 2008 masterpiece Get Ready to the breathtaking encore of the Joy Division classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” New Order were absolutely stunning live.
Other highlights of the set included fan favorites and hits such as “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle,” but the band really pulled out all the stops on Joy Division classics “Isolation” and “Atmosphere.” There was truly something for everyone at this show.
The visuals were stellar, the lights were mesmerizing, and the sound was simply spectacular. For me this was a once in a lifetime moment and one of the most amazing shows I have ever seen. New Order have did not miss a beat, and the sold out crowd at the Fox Theater were hanging on every last note.
Were you at the show in Oakland? Have you seen New Order on their 2012 tour? Check out all of the photos from the show in hi res here. Please join the conversation in the comments section below.