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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 11 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 28
New Order good, but also lacked oomph at Paramount
Arts & Entertainment
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New Order good, but also lacked oomph at Paramount

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

NEW ORDER
PARAMOUNT THEATRE
July 6


25 years had passed by since New Order performed in Seattle. This explains why the show, at the Paramount Theatre last weekend, sold out almost immediately and why fans lined up an hour before it started in toasty weather.

The legendary electronic group was comprised differently than its previous appearance (May 1989) at the exact same venue. Present were Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, but absent was original member Peter Hook, who tours independently as a result of unresolved issues with the band.

The new New Order was fun to listen to, rewinding our minds to a time when dance music was soulful and vibrant and innovative with genuine artistry behind it, in contrast to today's overprocessed crap that is poorly constructed from laptops. The concert was bookended by two classics, 'Elegia' from 2005's Low-Life opened the show, and 'Love Will Tear Us Apart,' a Joy Division cover, that capped a three-song encore and two hour performance.

Fresher material was hit or miss. I loved the ambitious 'Plastic,' yet 'California Grass,' off last year's B-sides effort Lost Sirens, totally flatlined. The old favorites held up just fine; 'Bizarre Love Triangle' was unleashed midway through the main set and got everybody moving, even those parked in the mezzanine and upper level of the theater who sang and bounced jubilantly along.

'We went to the market place,' said a silver-haired Sumner. 'I've never seen so many fish in my life.' He later confessed to misplacing Seattle on the geographic map. 'We're confusing America,' he admitted. 'There's two Washingtons.'

'True Faith' and 'Blue Monday' each received remixed intros and extended versions, though Sumner seemed a bit short of breath; thankfully, the audience knew all the words. Gilbert, expressionless during the entire performance, and sipping white wine occasionally, gave the latter tune a nice boost on keyboards. A giant screen at the back of the stage flashed random graphics for each song, including vintage photos of the band and a plug for the charity organization AmfAR, a global foundation for AIDS research.

New Order plunged deep into their catalog for the Paramount appearance, polishing up 'Age of Consent,' 'Ceremony,' 'Temptation' and 'The Perfect Kiss.' Disappointing was the addition of 'Regret,' from 1993's Republic album, that could've and should've been replaced by anything off 1989's Technique, which was completely omitted.

I expected more energy from this show. Yes, it was good. Yes, it was fun. Yes, there's no denying that New Order is iconic. But like its ringleader, Sumner, it looked and sounded rusty; they've both had better days.

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