Peter Hook and The Light Play My Favorite Albums Ever

I didn’t even know where to set my expectations for seeing 1/4 of New Order and his new band (about whom I knew nothing) playing two (actually three, since they got in most of Factus 8) of my all-time favorite albums. It turns out it was great. The Light are terrific — everybody was really good, and it was fun watching them. The only weak link really is Peter Hook’s singing, which is not so much that it’s objectively bad as that it didn’t feel like a good fit for New Order songs. Bernard Sumner always had a sort of light voice and higher range, whereas Hook (particularly 30 years on) is lower and gruffer. Anyway, the band was great.

Part of the pleasure was just hearing all those favorite songs played live and loud, whoever’s playing them. But for me, the greatest part was that I’ve been listening to Movement a lot lately and trying to figure out who was playing what, really listening to New Order as a 4-piece playing band rather than as the mad scientists of sequencers and drum machines and so on. So it was great to watch what The Light was doing and hear how it all went together to create the songs I know so well. Plus, whenever I’ve seen New Order, it’s been in a large venue where I was miles away. Here I was ten feet from the stage and could see everything. I imagine it was a little bit what it would have been like to see them live in 1982-3.

Hearing the songs off Movement was probably my favorite part, since you hardly ever hear those songs and I’ve been really immersing myself in that album lately. “The Him” might have been my favorite, since I just covered it, and I love the breakdown in the middle. Everyone started cheering and I was like “IT’S NOT OVER YET!” Of course, PC&L and Fact8 contain some of my all-time favorite songs as well; hearing the sequenced part of Everything’s Gone Green break out was a high point. All the musicians were great; I really need to go listen to my Monaco albums again (a lot of the same personnel are now in The Light).

Moby showing up (he came on for part of the encore and sang New Dawn Fades, Transmission, and Ceremony) was unexpected. He sounded fine, but his jerky sort-of Ian dance was disturbing. What was really weird though was the large men who appeared and started freaking out as soon as he came on. OMG MOBY!!! Really? You’ve just watched Peter Hook play classic New Order for two hours and you’re freaking out about Moby?

Set List:
In a Lonely Place
Dreams Never End
Chosen Time
The Him
Doubts Even Here
Cries and Whispers (Mesh?)
Everything’s Gone Green
Age of Consent
We All Stand
The Village
5 8 6
Your Silent Face
Leave Me Alone
New Dawn Fades
Blue Monday