Peter Hook at Gothic Theatre, 9/28/13
Peter Hook's 33-song set at the Gothic was split into three distinct sections representing three periods of his early career as a musician. The first set was comprised of Joy Division songs and not really everything expected. Beginning with the brooding "Day of the Lords," the set really got going with "Leaders of Men," on which Hook and his son Jack Bates perfectly complemented each other on bass, giving the song a subtle but rich depth of tone between Bates effected tone and Hook's cleaner sound.
"Dead Souls," meanwhile, had a lot more sparkle on the guitar than the original studio recording and certainly much more than on the Nine Inch Nails cover of the song. The echoing bass Bates delivered for "New Dawn Fades" gave the song a vibrantly haunted atmosphere that can only really be experienced in the live setting.
The second set centered on Movement in its entirety, as well as songs recorded around that time before the music that would become Power, Corruption & Lies. "In A Lonely Place" started things off with its majestic and enigmatic rhythm line. And while Hook often cried out with an urgency of emotion coursing through him playing these old songs, it didn't disrupt the somber power of the songs. "Ceremony," a later period Joy Division song, best recorded and performed by New Order, was powerful in its paradoxically melancholic urgency.
After "Procession," Peter Hook told us that his son, who had turned 24 the day before, expressed to him at some point that he would like to play the opening lines of "Dreams Never End," and as a father, Hook thought how could deny his son the honor. After Bates's expert execution of that song (as with everything the guy played), Hook marveled, "That was almost as good as me."
Running through the songs from Movement, the band proved how tight and expressive it could be. Across the show, Hook and Bates alternated between four and six string basses and gave a real insight as to how these songs were played in the first place, or how both men have arranged the songs differently for this presentation of the music. The guitar work on "Denial" was woven into the rhythm in a way that was breezy, dynamic and powerful all at once. Keyboard player Andy Poole gave the whole show the feel of seeing New Order in its prime, by getting the details down on the electronic end of the music.
Peter Hook and the Light at The Gothic Theatre
The third set, of course, was made up of songs from the Power, Corruption & Lies period, beginning with the excellent non-album track "Cries and Whispers." The crowd welled up noticeably for "Everything's Gone Green," and Bates's echoing bass gave what was otherwise an upbeat take on the song a dark edge. "Your Silent Face" got a less introspective treatment, but it retained that sense of an expansive and languid spirit of defiance. "Leave Me Alone" had a similar quality but with a bittersweet flavor.
After "The Beach," the band left the stage briefly and then returned for a three-song encore featuring three of its most popular songs back-to-back, starting with "Temptation," a more disco flavored "Blue Monday," and "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Hook's vocals may have been gruffer and rougher than the originals, on which he didn't originally sing, but he delivered on all three with a strength and conviction that dignified the music with a band that was more than capable of realizing the true power and emotional resonance of the material.
Peter Hook and the Light
Gothic Theatre - September 28, 2013
01. Day of the Lords
02. Leaders of Men
04. Dead Souls
05. No Love Lost
07. New Dawn Fades
08. In A Lonely Place
11. Dreams Never End
14. Chosen Time
16. The Him
17. Doubts Even Here
19. Cries and Whispers
20. Everything's Gone Green
21. Age of Consent
22. We All Stand
23. The Village
24. 5 8 6
26. Your Silent Face
29. Leave Me Alone
30. The Beach [no one on stage]
32. Blue Monday
33. Love Will Tear Us Apart
Personal Bias: Peter Hook's bass lines are what inspired me to pick up a bass in the '90s. His knack for simplicity, coupled with urgency, atmosphere and expressiveness, has always been a major inspiration to me as a musician, even as I have gone on to play a very different type of music.
Random Detail: Just before the end of the show, a guy with a mohawk, who had already been called out by Hook twice from the stage, was removed from the venue for causing problems for the people around him. When the band came back for the encore, Hook asked if the guy was gone and then said, "I thought having a mohawk was a sign of intelligence."
By the Way: When someone in the band feels compelled to tell you to chill out from stage, just do it.
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