Save Our Stages: Peter Hook & The Light with Night Dreamer at The Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, 11/9/19

During this period of historic uncertainty, the fight for the survival of our independent record stores is directly mirrored by the dark stages of our local independent theatres, clubs, and performance spaces which have been shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been cited as well that 90% of these concert venues may never, ever return.

Enter the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) whose #SaveOurStages campaign has provided a spotlight on this perilous predicament with a unique mission to “preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live music venues and promoters throughout the United States.” Without help from Congress the predictions are indeed quite dire and TVD encourages you support the S. 3814/H.R. 7481, the RESTART Act, by telling your legislators to save independent music venues via the form that can be filled out and forwarded right here.

This week and next we’ll be turning our own spotlight onto previous live concert coverage as a reminder of the need to preserve the vitality of live music venues across the country—and indeed across the globe—and while we’re at it to celebrate the work of the fine photographers and writers at TVD who are all itching to get back into the pit. 

Peter Hook & The Light’s show on Saturday night at The Wiltern was by all accounts brilliant. His masterful covers of both New Order and Joy Division classics transported fans back in time to what many felt was the true beginning of electronic music as we know it today. It was a throwback show for the ages that reinforced all that’s good in music today and one I won’t soon forget.

If you know anything about me, you’d know that there is a special place in my heart for electronic music. I grew up with artists like Kraftwork, Depeche Mode, and Gary Numan and believe they collectively rewrote musical history with their unique style of post-punk/electronic music. New Order was another such band that blazed unchartered territory in the early 1980s, with incredibly catchy songs that many think of as the soundtrack of their youth.

On a crisp Saturday night in DTLA, Peter Hook & The Light took us all back in time to relive those amazing memories with a stellar set that transcended time. Opening the evening was the debut of Los Angeles based duo, Night Dreamer. Guitarist Jeff Schroeder (of Smashing Pumpkins) and vocalist extraordinaire Mindy Song kicked of the evening with a performance that was completely unexpected for an opener and really, really good. Their on-stage chemistry was amazing, and I could immediately see stars in the making throughout their powerful 30-minute set.

After a brief intermission, lights dimmed at The Wiltern and we were off to the races as Peter Hook & The Light finally made their way to the stage. The crowd went ballistic as Hooky waved and simultaneously launched us back to 1989 with “Fine Time.” As a teen, I loved New Order’s Technique and was stoked that Hook would be performing it cover to cover along with 1993’s Republic. From note one, Hook’s signature baselines captivated the now capacity crowd and ignited a fire that burned for hours in the heart of Los Angeles. This show was going to be special.

After sets one and two were complete, Peter Hook again took the stage with an 8-song encore of Joy Division and New Order classics. Hook & The Light smashed classics such as “Ceremony,” “World in Motion,” and fan-favorite “Temptation.” The three-hour set (not a typo—he played for a full three hours!) was finally came to an end as fans joined Hook in singing what was arguably Joy Division’s most famous song, “Love Will tear Us Apart.” It was the perfect way to end the show and showcased the sustained relevance of Joy Division some 40 years after their initial releases.

NIGHT DREAMER

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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