All Photos by Pete Troshak | www.flickr.com/photos/petryfrompa
Former New Order and Joy Division member Peter Hook and his band The Light rocked the 143-year-old Trocadero Theatre for nearly three hours on Saturday night. The band is on tour playing the New Order albums Movement and Power, Corruption & Lies in their entirety along with assorted B-sides from those albums. Early arrivers were rewarded with a surprise when mysterious opening band “Slaves Of Venus” turned out to be none other than Hook And The Light performing a set of Joy Division songs.
Hook sported a mohawk, looked fit enough to dominate a rugby scrum and stalked the stage with a certain well-earned swagger. He swapped between his trademark bass and guitar as needed and handled all the lead vocals impressively, especially the Joy Division songs which he delivered in a haunting way that would’ve made the irreplaceable Ian Curtis proud. Hook was backed by his son Jack Bates on bass, David Potts on guitar, Andy Poole on keyboards, and Paul Kehoe on drums.
Bates and Hook occasionally both played bass simultaneously, which helped to recreate the bass heavy nature of many of the Joy Division and New Order tracks. Bates resembles his father both in look and skill when playing, both hunch over their basses intently, nimbly but fiercely plucking the strings. Potts is the secret weapon of the band though, providing stinging notes and sheets of guitar texture to the electronic based sound of the two bands.
The lighting was kept minimal during this intense seven song opening set. Highlights were a pounding, primal “Dead Souls” and the gothic, starkly beautiful B-side “In A Lonely Place.” After a brief break, the band returned to the stage to play New Order songs. They kicked off this part of the show with “Ceremony,” honoring the legacy of New Order by playing a powerful rendition of their first single to the delight of the hardcore fans who packed the venue. They then played the entire Movement album. Hook and the Light recreated the album perfectly, with highlights being a hard driving “Chosen Time” and a fierce “Denial.” Next came another short break then Power, Corruption & Lies.
Power… is on just about every best album of the eighties list, and despite it’s dark title and subject matter it has a brighter sound than the rest of the songs from this show. The mood lightened during the playing of this album, the band played louder and looser and the crowd was dancing and singing even up in the balcony. The highlight of this this set was the late double shot of electronic music excellence “Ultraviolence” followed by “Ecstasy.”
Late in the Power… set, Hook stopped to tell the audience “You’ve made an old man very happy,” leading to a huge passionate cheer from the crowd. After finishing the album another brief break came before the encore. The band closed with a powerful three song run of the underrated but memorable “Everything’s Gone Green,” a throbbing version of “Temptation” and the ultimate show closer “Blue Monday.” “Blue Monday” featured the band at peak form with Hook banging on a drum machine and firing off notes occasionally on guitar and Poole adding a swirling chorus of electronic angels and pulsating runs on the keys. Late in the song came the most memorable chill-inducing moment of the night, as Hook and son Bates stood next to each other and both unleashed that memorable twenty-two note, echoing warpath-like hook of the song, driving the song and show to a perfect conclusion. Check out a gallery of the show below, and complete setlists after the jump.