As I was waiting in queue to enter the venue, a man approached and asked me with great curiosity, “Who is Peter Hook?” What a great question to answer over a couple of beers…
In the Post-Punk and New Wave scenes, Peter Hook needs no introduction. Founding member of Joy Division and New Order, two of the most recognizable Post-Punk bands of all time, his bass-playing style laid the foundation for Post-Punk, New Wave and Goth-Rock, spawning a new generation of artists and undeniable darkness.
The concert was set to start at 8 PM, and after 45 minutes delay, it was announced that it would start around 10 PM due to a 9-hour flight delay and the airline sadly losing all guitars and most of the band’s equipment! Under such extreme circumstances, it would not be surprising (and it would, in fact, be understandable) if the concert was cancelled or re-scheduled. But not for Peter Hook & The Light! Instead, the band showed up, quickly assembled borrowed equipment, and performed Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasure and Closer in its entirety with an encore consisting of Digital, Transmission, Love Will Tear Us Apart and New Order’s Ceremony. Maximum respect!
The night was meant to be introduced with a New Order set; however, due to the unforeseen delay, it kicked in with the dark sound of the classic Unknown Pleasures that ended with ‘I Remember Nothing’, and after a five-minute break, the album ‘Closer’ started with Hook saying, ‘This is Atrocity Exhibition”.
Peter Hook & The Light put on such an amazing performance that the audience was invited to imagine the characteristic frantic dance of Ian Curtis during She’s Lost Control and Transmission and to trip into absolute darkness with The Eternal. While hopeless lovers were able to move through the silence without motion during Shadowplay, others could picture themselves in avenues all lined with trees and watch the band perform New Order’s Ceremony over and over.
During the concert, it was noticeable that Peter Hook’s vocals did sound like the departed lead singer Ian Curtis, leaving the question of why Peter Hook did not become the lead singer of New Order, which would have carried on with the Joy Division dark sound while implementing all sorts of New Wave elements that New Order is known for.
Even though Peter Hook is known to tour with Yamaha basses, the fact that he kept his characteristic melodic bass sound using Fender basses, an uncontrollable sudden change, made him an absolute legend. With the combination of acoustic and synthetic drums, driving melodic bass lines, brittle synthesizers, and the simplicity of the guitars, the band provided fans – both new and old – with an amazing opportunity to experience the unique sound of Joy Division, creating a memorable summer night like back in the ’80s. Without a doubt, Peter Hook & The Light are doing an excellent job in keeping the Joy Division legacy relevant throughout the generations.
Review – Arturo Papaluca
Photos – Benoit Desjardins