Peter Hook, Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA, May 21, 2018, photo by Daniel Tyree

Peter Hook And The Light came to Ace of Spades on Monday night and treated diehard fans to two and half hours of the Substance compilations from New Order and Joy Division. To open the show up was El Ten Eleven, a Los Angeles based duo that relied only on drums, basses, and heavy looping. The duo had a short, yet impactful, set that created the tone for the show for the next two hours.

Bassist/multi-instrumentalist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty knew that their set time was short, but were able to gain new fans by creating a familiar post-punk soundscape that would perfectly segue into the next and headlining act.  

The crowd at Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA, May 21, 2018, photo by Daniel Tyree

Up next was Peter Hook, the founding bass player for Joy Division and New Order, and his band playing his life’s work to new and old fans. His set was split into two parts, the first being the Substance compilation from the New Order years of 1981-1987. With Hook and his five other members, including another bass player to add more tremble to the audience’s ribcages, the group opened up with “Too Late” and tracked through their early discography.  People were treated next to “The Perfect Kiss,” “Temptation,” and their earliest recording “Ceremony,” which was originally a Joy Division song but re-recorded for the rebirth of New Order after lead singer Ian Curtis’s death in 1981. With fifteen New Order songs for the first set, it was hard to imagine that a second set of twelve songs was next, but that didn’t seem to dampen the crowd’s attitude.

After a quick intermission, the band came back and kicked into their second set playing the Joy Division compilation also aptly titled Substance. The influence of this born and bred Manchester group echoes on many levels of why their popularity has never faded. From style, sound and attitude, Joy Division was a group that single handled brought the 1980s dancing and introducing the world to the Goth and post-punk genre. Opening up with “Insight”, the tone of the room changed from the previous set of pop-synthesizers to bass and guitar-driven post-punk: the spirit of Ian Curtis was definitely alive and well in the venue.  Continuing to honor the band’s short, but significant, history, favorites such as “Disorder,” “Digital,” and “Heart And Soul” which Hook sang in homage of Curtis’s vocals. Even though Joy Division came to an abrupt end, most fans never had a chance to see them live and could see this is a respectful and fitting way of honoring the band’s legacy.

The crowd at Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA, May 21, 2018, photo by Daniel Tyree

Closing out the night, Hook dedicated “Atmosphere” to the one-year anniversary of the Manchester bombings and then played their final, and most popular song, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”  After the extensive set ended, with many well-loved songs played from both sides of Hook’s career, the crowd left the venue with smiles and sweat on their faces. Peter Hook had reminded them why they fell in love with his band’s music in the first place.

Photos: Dan Tyree. Words: Jake Monka.

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