Concert Reviews

Review: Peter Hook & the Light at the Bluebird Theater, 9/19/11

It was to be expected that Peter Hook & the Light would be playing Unknown Pleasures in its entirety, and that it wouldn't be a half-hearted and insincere attempt at re-creating that music live. What was not expected was the intensity with which the band played. Also surprising were the moments of departure from the original, such as the rendition of "I Remember Nothing," the track that closed the original album on a note of unremitting personal darkness. Hook's vocals evoked the haunting desolation of the original while the band created an alternate sense of brooding atmospheres that used echoing guitar noises, sharp punctuations of sound and short leaks of white noise from the synth to stand in for the clatter of objects in the background. It's the kind of song that shouldn't work live on a collection of songs filled with seething internalized anger. But this lineup managed to make that most uncharacteristic of Unknown Pleasures tracks work.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.