Published Nov 02, 2016Peter Hook and the Light returned to Vancouver's Venue for the third time in just over three years last night (November 1), performing a two-and-a-half-hour set comprising tracks from New Order's Substance compilation, as well as a plethora of Joy Division tracks.
With no opener, the band was free to tailor their set to the many diehard New Order and Joy Division fans in the sold-out crowd. The marathon of a gig began with a set chockfull of New Order tracks, Hooky and his band launching into infectious cuts such as "Procession," "Everything's Gone Green" and the classic longing of "Ceremony." The audience lapped up Hook's bravado and his interactions with them: he started off the night asking if they were alright while referring to them as motherfuckers.
Hook and the Light are a very tight band, deftly capturing the sounds on New Order and Joy Division recordings. Hook's son, Jack Bates, has inherited his father's bass playing skills, and the two played harmonies together deftly. Although Hook's vocal range isn't suited to singing most New Order tracks given Bernard Sumner's higher range, vocalist and guitarist David Potts was more than able to reach those notes.
The second set of the night, in which the band performed Joy Division tracks, got the audience into a frenzy, and Hook's voice definitely suited these songs better. "She's Lost Control," "Transmission" and the driving punk of "Warsaw" were bombastic, a nice juxtaposition to the previous set's pop focus. Closing with the seminal "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Hook let the audience briefly take over his vocal duties, and they bellowed the chorus as the room swelled with their enthusiasm.
Although the night's performance could have been trimmed in length, one would be hard pressed to find a fan in attendance who didn't leave Venue satisfied with hearing the sheer breadth of New Order and Joy Division's catalogues, played passionately by a founding member.