New Order is renowned for seamlessly blending post-punk and new wave with electronic dance music elements. Their greatness can be attributed to innovation, experimentation and cultural impact. Take, for instance, the quintessential ’80s hit “Blue Monday,” featuring a recognizable kick-drum pattern and choir loop that have become synth-pop staples. On November 15 they were at the Youtube Theater, hearing this and other songs performed live was nothing short of extraordinary. The synthesizers, drum machines and Barney’s distinctive vocals created an atmosphere reminiscent of the most legendary warehouse party imaginable.
This sentiment extends across their entire discography, with iconic hits like “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Ceremony,” and “True Faith.” In person, these songs felt immersive, prompting the entire audience to sway and sing along. The stage featured captivating visual elements that complemented the music well—utilizing lighting, projections and stage design to add an extra layer of sensory stimulation.
New Order curated a diverse setlist spanning their entire career, mixing classic hits with deeper cuts. For longtime fans, seeing them live felt like a journey back to the ’80s and ’90s. At the same time, their music possesses a timeless quality that resonates with both new and seasoned audiences and creates a sense of universality in their performances.
The concert concluded with an encore featuring two Joy Division covers, “Atmosphere” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” The screen displayed the text ‘Forever Joy Division,’ serving as a perfect tribute to the band’s origins and a beautiful end to the evening.
All photos by Brandy Hornback.