Peter Hook presents "Unknown Pleasures" - The show begins with a short documentary on the Manchester scene focused on Joy Division and New Order. It is to the point, featuring a few interesting nuggets of information and gets the crowd ready for the early Manchester sounds to come. Hook hits the stage with a drummer, keyboard/backup vocalist, guitarist, and a second bassist. Quickly it is clear that Hook plays some bass, but not while singing the vocals. The band has worked this out well and it sort of proves a point he made in the film that Bernard Sumner had to do the vocals for New Order as his guitar worked around the vocals and that he (Hook) and Morris (drums) could not sing and play at the same time. Anyway, it was no surprise that the band was good and that they created the Joy Division sound rather well. I was a bit creeped out listening to all this classic material with the spectre of Ian Curtis' suicide hanging over it all. But then I thought that even if the original band was here playing this music, how less creepy would it be? This is deep music designed to make listeners uncomfortable or disturbed in some individual manner depending on their psyche. By set's end, I had not resolved this conundrum. And today? Well, I am glad I went to hear this music as I was a major fan back when it came out. Hook's vocal delivery was decent, although the keyboardist helped with some of the higher points. He mentioned how interesting it was playing again after doing a lot of DJ work. He also said he was a bit nervous. I thought he was fine, although vocally it was a bit like playing your talented center back as your play-making midfielder. It will work, but it will be rough in spots (this point dedicated to Man U or City followers everywhere). The set was excellent as it focused on early material (Warsaw even!) and then did the album in order. The crowd was quite subdued although they were clearly into the show. It is hard to be a screaming fan listening to Joy Division. A fascinating night where I will not argue against anyone's reaction. Like the music of Joy Division, it is quite personal.
Set List: No Love Lost/Leaders of Men/Glass/Digital/10 songs of Unknown Pleasures in order. Encores: Warsaw/Transmission/Love Will Tear Us Apart
Quote of the Night: Hook - "Wrong time zone" after someone shouted out something from Closer (or hopefully not New Order).