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Monday, May 09, 2005

more on new order at coachella: they played "transmission"!

May 04, 2005 - 8:52:59 PM

(Billboard) New Order dusts off pieces of its past at Coachella fest Advertisement
By Greg Kot
Tribune music critic

INDIO, Calif. -- "We're going to do it. We're going to play some Joy Division songs," singer-guitarist Bernard Sumner revealed a few days before New Order helped close the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Sunday.

"It's been 25 years since Ian [Curtis] died and we want to do something in his honor," he said. New Order had avoided playing songs by Joy Division for two decades, in part because it was a tragedy--the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis--that forced Sumner and the band's other surviving members, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris, to carry on as New Order.

But as the 25th anniversary of Curtis' death on May 18, 1980, approaches, his old bandmates decided it was time last weekend to acknowledge their past. The performance was a prelude to the legendary band's first Chicago concert in more than a decade--on Tuesday at the Aragon.

Morris' tom drums thundered on "Love Will Tear Us Apart," and the voices of Hook and Sumner rose to a fevered pitch as they commanded, "Dance, dance, dance to the radio" on a spectacular "Transmission."
These Joy Division staples were received like lost national anthems by an audience of more than 40,000--and why not?

The influence of New Order and Joy Division has never been more apparent, their merger of rock guitars, icy keyboard textures and electronic dance music a template for countless bands who played the two-day festival, including the Bravery, Kasabian, and Sunday headliner Nine Inch Nails. In its sixth year, Coachella has reaffirmed its claim to be North America's most prestigious rock concert, a legitimate answer to massive European festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading.

But on Sunday, New Order sounded less engaged performing its own material. And the momentum sagged when it played several songs in a row from its latest album, "Waiting for the Sirens' Call." But Hook's indelible bass riff on "Blue Monday" brought the set to a close in high style.

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