LIVE REVIEW: New Order, Confidence Man, OVO Hydro, Glasgow, 05/10/2023
Photo Credit: Warren Jackson
New Order were at the Glasgow Hydro tonight to play their biggest ever show in the city, alongside a spectacular light show. And what a show it was! The Manchester band wowed the crowd with a set full of classic hits dating back to the 1980s with four Joy Division tracks also included in the set.
New Order had a support act full of energy in Confidence Man, a brother and sister duo all the way from Brisbane, Australia. The band use pseudonyms and are Janet Planet (Grace Stephenson) and Sugar Bones (Aidan Moore). The band entertained the packed arena with their high energy dance routines as they worked through a setlist including their biggest songs including summer 2023 release Now U Do and Holiday from their 2022 album TILT. Adding a bit of shock value to their performances is that the keyboard player and drummer play the full set wearing what can only be described as a black veil. Holiday was saved for the last song and it certainly got the ever-expanding crowd moving. Confidence Man definitely aren’t for everyone but there was enough head nodding going on around us to claim that some of them did enjoy the performance. 8/10
There must have been around 10,000 fans in the arena by the time New Order took to the stage at 8.45pm to rapturous applause and excitement in the crowd. The set opened with Crystal, a song from the bands 2001 album Get Ready, this being followed up by Age of Consent, the first of three songs from their 1983 album Power, Corruption and Lies. Lead singer and guitarist Bernard Sumner has lost none of his powerful vocals over the years and still excels as a musician. Sumner had reluctantly taken over as the band’s vocalist – originally being the keyboardist and guitarist – after the tragic suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis while they were members of Joy Division together. His death in 1980 then lead to the formation of New Order, the band releasing their first album Movement in 1981. The band have changed formation over the years with bassist Peter Hook leaving in 2007 to work on his own projects.
Two songs from the 2015 Music Complete album – Restless and Academic– were played perfectly with the keyboards from Gillian Gilbert being a stand out on tracks. The first cover song of Joy Division’s was Isolation from their 1980 album Closer. The crowd were very subdued during the Joy Division songs in the set, perhaps quietly enjoying the moment and showing respect to Ian Curtis.
We were treated to a version of Ultraviolence from Power, Corruption and Lies, which was making its live debut on this tour and Be A Rebel, the band’s 2020 single.
The timeless classic Blue Monday was the highlight of the night, and a pair of sunglasses would have been a good idea as the lights were totally blinding at one point. The band have obviously invested a lot of the tour money in lighting effects and it was certainly a spectacular sight. Blue Monday is a track that is recognised immediately with the electronic drums being the stand out in the song.
The three songs in the encore were all Joy Division numbers, Decades, Transmission and ending with the ever-popular Love Will Tear Us Apart – by far their biggest song – with 366 million plays on Spotify alone. This was definitely a get up out your seat moment around us as everyone joined in singing the lyrics back to the band. The crowd were so good with their reaction to the final song but would have been a far better show if they had reacted like that from the first song! Superb way to end the night though. New Order have put so much work into this tour and it certainly shone through in their perfect performance. 10/10
Written By: Alan Brown