One of the big name acts I wanted to see at Sasquatch Festival’s second day (which got cancelled), was New Order. The other was Kraftwerk. I honestly didn’t think I would ever get to see New Order live. I don’t know when they last played here. But there Seattle was, getting lucky with a headlining New Order date on July 6th.
The British band had a difficult task at hand: selecting songs for its set list. With so many great albums, so many great songs, where would they start? In a moving manner, they opened with “Elegia,” the group’s tribute to singer Ian Curtis of Joy Division. Bear with me if I am telling you something you already know, but New Order formed out of Joy Division, so that’s the connection. Even if you didn’t know this, “Elegia,” off Low-Life (an album I will always associate with my sister, who played it very often) is a beautiful, haunting piece of music. It was also an unusual choice to begin with as an instrumental for a band whose singer, Bernard Sumner, is instantly recognizable.
Along with a truly smashing and effective (never distracting) light show, New Order performed a critical mass of songs such as “Regret,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Blue Monday,” “Tempation,” (which went back to their first album, Movement) “The Perfect Kiss,”The Perfect Kiss” (which might be my favorite New Order song, by the way). A particularly welcome surprise was new song “Plastic,” which sounded awesome – proving there’s still so much more in this band. To close out the show New Order played three Joy Division songs, including “Transmission” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” in a move that showed a respect for and love of towering beginnings and accomplishments.