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Love Will Tear Us Apart: Peter Hook and the Light Channel the Ghost of Joy Division at Paper Tiger 

click to enlarge Living legend Peter Hook in the flesh - SHANNON SWEET
  • Shannon Sweet
  • Living legend Peter Hook in the flesh

Playing a sold-out show to a diverse crowd of retro junkies and the people who actually lived it, Peter Hook and the Light transformed Paper Tiger into both a new-wave nightclub and a dingy punk basement Monday night. Peter Hook, a founding member of both Joy Division and New Order, even without the rest of the original members of both bands reincarnated the spirit of the two distinct styles of music. 

He started off the concert by playing songs from Substance 1987, New Order's compilation album, singing lead vocals and playing his signature bass, performing everything from "Ceremony" to "Bizarre Love Triangle" (sadly, "Age of Consent" wasn't included). Even though Hook played bass and synths in New Order's original reign, he breathed new life into decades old songs while staying true to what made the material timeless. The booming beats, swooning synth strings paired with a sometimes chugging guitar and sing-a-long choruses were all there, with added audience enthusiasm. The crowd went insane during the fatally catchy "Up, down, turn around/Please don't let me hit the ground" chorus of "Temptation." Even though the remaining members of New Order had a messy breakup with Hook, he did the material (which he co-wrote) justice. "Bizarre Love Triangle," performed as the Shep Pettibone remix was awe-inducing because, honestly, hearing it live will never compare to the typical '80s night rehash. 

After a brief intermission, Peter Hook and the Light transitioned into a completely different animal from music's past. Crisp synth-pop beats and catchy choruses were no longer, as the icy, bleak post-punk of Joy Division took over. Here, the venue's sound brought imagery of a dimly-lit, grimy makeshift club as the ghost of Ian Curtis was channeled though the songs he made famous. Hook transformed himself into Curtis, complete with his deep baritone - but no epilepsy inspired dance moves  - as he busted through material such as  "Transmission" and  "She's Lost Control." He concluded the Joy Division half of the concert with a touching performance of "Love Will Tear Us Apart," a tribute to his deceased friend and bandmate. The crowd got swept away in the loving sendoff, proving that although Curtis committed suicide in 1980, his legacy will never fade away. 

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