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New Order - Palladium Ballroom - 10/12/12

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New Order, Ishi Palladium Ballroom Friday, October 12

The lead-up to Friday night's sold-out New Order show was dense with social media's critical musings, especially that this was not the real New Order, due to the absence of bassist Peter Hook. There were claims it would never be as good as the band's legendary performance at the Bronco Bowl in 1986. What these people might not understand, though, is that New Order has a new generation of fans, some of whom weren't yet born in 1986, and this was their chance to catch the band.

Inside the Palladium Ballroom, a mass of people pushed themselves as close to the stage as a possible, and I found a spot stage left, next to the greatest father ever, who was explaining who New Order was to his young daughter. As the band took the stage, lead singer Bernard Sumner greeted the crowd with a "Howdy y'all," and launched into "Elegia."

Sticking to their biggest hits, the band whipped the crowd into a frenzy as they jumped around their catalog, playing songs from Movement; Power, Corruption & Lies; and Low-Life. They even dove into Joy Division's "Isolation" halfway through the main set. As I watched Sumner walk over to keyboardist Gillian Gilbert during "Blue Monday," I wondered how many times she's played these notes.

After a rather spirited dance party broke out during "Temptation," the band took the requisite break and came back to encore with four more Joy Division songs, including closer "Love Will Tear Us Apart," sending the crowd home in awe. Even though they're almost 30 years into their career, New Order can still work a crowd with the best of them.

Random notes: - During "The Perfect Kiss," a fight nearly broke out next to me. This raises two questions: Who fights at a New Order show, and how did "The Perfect Kiss" surpass "The Piña Colada Song" as the most random fight song of all time?

- For a guy in his in his mid-50s, Bernard Sumner sure does like to dance.

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