Concert Review: New Order, August 30, Budweiser Stage


Near the beginning of New Order’s Thursday night show at Budweiser Stage, Bernard Sumner noted how great it was to be back in Toronto while also apologizing for not making it back here sooner. “Sorry it’s been awhile – this happened, that happened … Hopefully we’ll provide an antidote to Ed Sheeran tonight. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” And while he was hedging his bets with that last comment, I don’t think there were too many Sheeran fans in attendance.

So yes, nothing resembling “Shape Of You” or anything else of a Sheeran-esque nature would make an appearance that night. Instead, New Order focused on what they’re best at, offering up a number of hits from throughout their career as well as a few tracks off their latest studio album, 2015’s Music Complete. Of the new stuff, numbers like “Plastic” and “Tutti Frutti” stood out as highlights that easily hold their own alongside the classics. Speaking of the classics, another standout was the band’s performance of “Your Silent Face,” which Sumner referred to as a beautiful song. “Played it a thousand times but I still think it’s beautiful.” He’s not wrong.

While the band held things down instrumentally, Sumner played his part as the engaging, entertaining frontman, dancing about the stage a bit and occasionally holding the mic up to his bandmates’ instruments while they played. I’m not sure if that did much of anything besides raising the potential for feedback though.

New Order ended off their main set with an absolutely unimpeachable trio of tunes – “True Faith”, “Blue Monday” and “Temptation” – before returning to the stage for an encore of Joy Division songs, much to the delight of all the people wearing Unknown Pleasures t-shirts. “I don’t think we’ve played that one before in Toronto. Ever,” said Sumner after they played “Disorder”, turning to drummer Stephen Morris to confirm that Joy Division had never played any shows in Toronto. “Enough of my talking. Here’s another one,” he said as they ended things off with “Decades” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”

Overall, New Order put on an amazing show with a solid setlist. I didn’t even notice they left out “Age of Consent,” one of my favourite New Order songs, until it was pointed out to me after the show. That’s a sign of a good show.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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