New Order Mix Sentimentality with the Present at The Tower Theater

Photos by Amanda Silberling

About a half hour before the Eighties legends New Order were slated to take the stage, the sold-out Tower Theater was completely packed with fans new and decades-old crowding together in the pit. Of course, if you’re a band that basically invented New Wave dance music, you’re definitely going to have a mesmerizing stage setup and light show. From before the show through the entire two-hour set, vibrant lights and LED screens with psychedelic projections illuminated the crowd. It may be something that only New Order can get away with, but they make their grandiosity feel warranted and necessary. More importantly, these musicians can still put on an incredible show, even if they’re around sixty-years-old.

For the majority of their lengthy set before, New Order played material from their tenth album Music Complete, released last fall. If you disregard the frantic flood of fans and the conspicuous LED screens, it’s possible to watch New Order’s set without their legacy getting in the way. But in the encore, where New Order played two songs from their original band Joy Division, “Atmosphere” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” the sentimentality felt a bit fabricated and forced. Regardless, the Joy Division songs are still fan favorites for sure, and there’s something incredible about seeing a song written almost forty years ago performed live. New Order wrapped the night together with “Blue Monday,” an irresistibly danceable single from 1983 that has sold more 12″ records than any other song. It may be 2016 in Philadelphia, but New Order can make you feel for a fleeting moment that you just might be in an 80s dance club.

Check out the photos from the show below!

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