Music

New Order turns the Chelsea into a ‘Complete’ dance party

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Frontman Bernard Sumner sings to the devoted.
Photo: Edison Graff/Kabik Photo Group

Three and a half stars

New Order March 21, the Chelsea.

The touring of a new album by a veteran act is rarely an easy proposition. There are those who delve into new material and consistently turn those moments into glorified bathroom breaks (i.e. The Rolling Stones). And there are those who don’t bother, despite having a new record worth playing (like Tempest, the record Bob Dylan inexplicably shunned during his 2012 Mandalay Bay Events Center concert).

For synth-pop legends New Order, either scenario would have been a travesty during Monday’s show inside the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan. The band’s 2015 album Music Complete is remarkably good despite the departure of founding bassist (and dare-I-say architect of New Order’s sound) Peter Hook. And on Monday night, the band boldly performed seven of that LP’s 11 songs. A few of them sounded extraneous; opener “Singularity” fell flat, and it wouldn’t be the last fumble. On the other hand, “Superheated” made its tour debut no doubt due to its guest performer on the album, Brandon Flowers, who jumped onstage to sing it with frontman Bernard Sumner. A feel-good show closer, no doubt, but it was also unexpected given that Flowers had already joined the band for “Love Vigilantes” and, predictably, “Crystal,” the song/video that inspired him to christen his band The Killers.

Meanwhile, three of Music Complete’s strongest and most rhythmic tracks, “Tutti Frutti,” “People on the High Line” and “Plastic,” complemented an eight-song dance-off that all but turned the Chelsea into the Hacienda nightclub New Order made famous years ago. It was heightened by brilliantly retooled versions of the otherwise played-out “Bizarre Love Triangle” and “True Faith,” and climaxed with post-punk disco classic “Temptation,” ending the main set as spectacularly as it did almost three years ago at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool. The euphoria was just enough to forget that Hook wasn’t the man playing those plucky, low-end melodies—that is, until encore opener “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Still, as Music Complete demonstrates, New Order is managing quite well without him.

Setlist:

"Singularity"

"Ceremony"

"Academic"

"Crystal" (with Brandon Flowers)

"Love Vigilantes" (with Brandon Flowers)

"Restless"

"Your Silent Face"

"Tutti Frutti"

"People on the High Line"

"Bizarre Love Triangle"

"Waiting For the Sirens’ Call"

"Plastic"

"The Perfect Kiss"

"True Faith"

"Temptation"

Encore:

"Love Will Tear Us Apart"

"Blue Monday"

"Superheated" (with Brandon Flowers)

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