5

New Order: Novi Sad, Serbia, July 13, 2012

New Order: Novi Sad, Serbia, July 13, 2012
Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
New Order
Exit Festival
Petrovaradin Fortress
Novi Sad, Serbia
July 13th, 2012

The British band New Order has been making music for roughly three decades. In that time, these rockers have built audiences the world over even after the band's 1980s and '90s heyday. The band, which grew out of the rubble of the much missed seminal band Joy Division, fused that band's gloomy aesthetic to electronic dance music, by adding ecstatic rhythms to its darkish soundscapes. It was virtually the first band to find inspiration in underground dance and electronic acts, as it wholeheartedly embraced technology, electronic music, rock intensity and the dance floor, spawning a myriad of signature songs.

Not so long ago, in 2007, one of the founding members, bassist Peter Hook, unilaterally announced the band's split, and each party took on a different route. Singer and guitarist Bernard Sumner formed Bad Lieutenant, while Hook formed his own band, The Light, that performed Joy Division songs. In 2011, the remaining band members—including drummer Stephen Morris and returning keyboardist Gillian Gilbert— decided to reform New Order, but with a Peter Hook-shaped hole in the band's lineup. But paradox is the heart and soul of this band, as it has split and reformed numerous times in its long history.

By being present for so long, in a weird way, the performance of New Order at Exit festival felt almost like a homecoming party, showing that the band hasn't lost its fire or its audience. With the opening sounds of composer Ennio Morricone's track, its members took to the stage in a quiet yet triumphant fashion and, as soon as Sumner greeted the audience, the band started with the quiet but riveting hidden gem, "Elegia." The cheer that greeted the group as it arrived was deafening; the audience behaved as though the gig was already a triumph. From there, the atmosphere built on as New Order embarked on a pumped up tour of memorable tracks like "Crystal," "Regret,"' "Love Vigilantes," "Ceremony" and "The Age of Consent."

Taking into account its longevity on the music scene, New Order really has a catalog of hit songs to draw from, one that easily translates into the audience singing lustily along, and dancing as well. The set list was carefully selected and contained songs from various corners of the band's illustrious history, which reflected its many stylistic influences. It was a greatest hits kind of list, going forwards with songs like the bouncy and playful "Krafty," from Waiting for the Siren's Call (London, 2005), and backwards with older New Order tracks—and even further still, by including Joy Division's "Isolation, brilliantly rearranged with a myriad of electronica sounds and beats.

While Hook's signature leading melodic bass and the equally famous low slung bass stance were definitely missed, the five-piece band really put on a great show, with Bad Lieutenant bassist Tom Chapman ably taking on the bass duties, and additional guitarist Phil Cunningham adding some rhythmic ballast. On the other hand, it was drummer Morris who was pumping a plethora of his signature propulsive beats with a machine-like precision that held the band together throughout the show, and whose rhythms gave the songs a different and refreshing feel. Gillian Gilbert was standing almost frozen behind her keyboards playing melodies in what seemed a deep concentration. Sumner may not look like a natural front man, but he was a great master of ceremonies. In the background, there was a huge screen that had spectacular visualizations, and excerpts from their old videos all mixed together with a standard light show. But it wasn't the spectacle that won the crowd over that night; it was the songs with which New Order connected so easily with its fans.

"True Faith" and "Bizzare Love Triangle" brought waves of delight and pulsating that made you "feel so extraordinary" and by the time the band reached the euphoric dance anthem "Blue Monday," the audience was well-prepared. By far its best-known track, its huge sound filled the auditorium with euphoria—and maybe nostalgia—and the group brought in the boys and girls from dance act Hercules and the Love Affair to dance on stage, waving a British flag. With its juddering beats and infectious bass melodies, this floor-filler of truly epic proportions was the perfect dance track that, like Ravel's Bolero, could go on forever. Yet, for all the glory and craziness it provoked, and despite hopes for an extended version, it seemed irritatingly short. The set ended with "Temptation," a beautiful, brooding eight-minute stomp of electronic beats, punchy bass lines and beautiful vocals.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Seth Yacovone Blues Trio At Red Square Live Reviews The Seth Yacovone Blues Trio At Red Square
by Doug Collette
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues Live Reviews Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues
by Walter Atkins
Published: July 22, 2017
Read My Morning Jacket on The Green At Shelburne Museum Live Reviews My Morning Jacket on The Green At Shelburne Museum
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Garana Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Garana Jazz Festival 2017
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground" Live Reviews The Wood Brothers at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Buenos Aires Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Buenos Aires Jazz Festival 2016
by Mark Holston
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens" Live Reviews George Benson at Denver Botanic Gardens
by Geoff Anderson
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Monterey Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Monterey Jazz Festival 2016
by Josef Woodard
Published: September 26, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!