New Order – Vector Arena, Auckland February 27, 2012

All the Mad Dogs and Englishmen were out in force on this Monday night in Auckland as Manchester legends New Order were back in the country for the first time in 10 years…and there was an air of anticipation before the gig even started.

The first sign I had of that, was running into a complete stranger called Gordon (from Manchester) & now living in Auckland, a super friendly guy, who in his thick Mancunian accent, kindly informed me (at the top of his voice) that he’d not seen these guys since Joy Division played support to The Buzzcocks at the Manchester Apollo back in 1980…Wow, now that’s going back.

The line up has changed as Peter Hook (one of the founding members) left in 2007 after it seems that there’s way too much bad water gone under the bridge for the original line up to ever get back together again. But his replacement, Tom Chapman, did the music complete justice.

On stage, New Order are greeted like returning heroes…bringing back many memories for a lot of the ‘mature’ audience and lead vocalist Bernard Sumner was enjoying himself too..known by his trade mark woo’s and skipping on the spot It will be the kids that will be picking up the folks after the gig tonight.

After a stunning opening of Elegia, they launch straight into Crystal, which had the crowd dancing from the outset, and played in perfect sync to the matching video for the song. The dancing and singing didn’t stop there.

Early hits were delivered such as Ceremony and a beautifully remixed 586 which came accompanied with stunning visuals on a great backdrop…something not usually associated with this band.

They run through the bands biggest tracks…1985’s Perfect Kiss…which still sounded perfect and had the crowd singing along in full voice, Bizarre Love Triangle took me back to the night clubs I frequented to in the 80’s and 90’s…and proudly stood tall, losing nothing of its punch. Temptation was killer and the highlight of the evening. The band seemed to not want to stop with this track…and the audience would have been right there with them.

The only let down of the evening was the final two numbers…which just happened to be the most well known in their catalogue – Blue Monday even with an updated remix version, didn’t really stand the test of time…and Joy Division’s biggest song Love Will Tear Us Apart seemed like it was a karaoke version that they rushed through…even though Sumner yelled “Come on”…at the audience at least half a dozen times.

It definitely wasn’t a Blue Monday in Auckland’s Vector Arena as around 7 thousand happy punters left singing there favourite New Order/ Joy Division tunes…and reminiscing the good old days.

Scott Cleaver

Full set list:

Elegia

Crystal

Regret

Ceremony

Age of Consent

Love Vigilantes

Round & Round

Krafty

Bizarre Love Triangle

True Faith (Remixed)

586

Perfect Kiss

Temptation

Encore:

Blue Monday

Love Will Tear Us Apart

New Order Photo Gallery: