I may as well have taken a time machine to 1979 London last night. On the Lucerna Music Bar stage were 1/4 of Joy Division and his backing band, The Light, playing note-for-note renditions of every Joy Division song worth playing. To top it off, there was a guy with the biggest mo-hawk I have ever seen right in the middle of my line of sight. Normally, something in front of me standing over seven feet tall at a concert would be cause for annoyance. However, this big, stupid, pogoing hairdo just helped to make the whole experience all the more legitimate.
The musicianship didn’t hurt either. For a little under two hours, Peter Hook and the Light tore through a setlist that included the punkish early Joy Division (Warsaw) material, a top to bottom run through of their landmark album “Unknown Pleasures”, nuggets from their second album “Closer” and all the non-album singles. It was a feast for fans of this band. There was also a sense that Hook’s love for this music has endured the 30-some years since the death of Ian Curtis. As a matter of fact, the sheer vigor with which these Goth classics sprang from the PA made them even more powerful.
Because of the musicianship and intensity of the show, one was able to overlook the abysmal, YouTube quality introductory video that preceded it. The audio sounded muddled and completely unintelligible on Lucerna’s sound system. A note to Mr. Hook: people coming to your show don’t need an introduction – we’re already converted.
Awful intro aside, anybody with even a passing interest in Joy Division should go to see this show. It’s a tribute to a very influential band that has inspired countless present-day imitators and, even though he probably wasn’t alive in 1979, some dude with a really tall mo-hawk.