Flashback: New Order Play New York’s Ukrainian National Home in 1981

November 19th, 1981 | New York, NY

New Order did not intend to play the Ukrainian National Home but when Chase Parks shut down, Factory Records scrambled for a backup and decided on this nondescript venue. Surprisingly the venue is still standing on 2nd avenue and 9th street thirty years later. As is New Order. This was New Order’s tenth show following the death of Joy Division singer, Ian Curtis. They played a few shows in New York during the tour including the Ritz and Peppermint Lounge in Manhattan and City Gardens in Trenton. This was the tour on which the band would get introduced to the New York dance music scene and change their sound for years to come. Included below are reviews from two people in the crowd – Laura Gisig and Tim Sommer – along with the setlist and concert footage.

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“The set was perfect, sublime, uplifting. It is hard to remember which songs came when, though I do remember, “Procession” blending into “Ceremony” was beautiful. They did a lot of material from the new album MOVEMENTS [sic]. “Dreams Never End”, sung by Peter Hook was especially moving. The last song, and toure de force was definitely “Temptation”, which will probably be the next single. Bernard was left singing and staring Heaven-ward, hopefully. This was not the New Order I remembered, there was no gloom. They did not seem to conjure Ian’s ghost. This New Order was a complete unit with powerful ideas and music of their own.”  - Laura Gisig

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“As a live band, New Order have really nothing to offer but themselves and their skills. There’s not a hell of a lot to look at, to keep your eyes rivetted on stage, but their music glows, and that’s good enough. New Order’s sound and music is chins-up, and though it deals with a lot of edges and highs and lows, I find it to be surprisingly straightforward. Albrecht and Morris and Hook and Gillian use sound so well, they’re so firm yet so intricate, truly expansive. Yes, they are serious, but not gloomy at all. There’s this bounce to New Order that Joy Division rarely had (or was just beginning to develop near the end), a bounce that always keeps them moving, never down.

“…Throughout, the audience, disappointingly, remains polite, applauding measurably after each number but little more, barely responding to New Order’s feeling. They deserve so much better than to be intellectualized, and stodgily observed, filed away into post-new music, post neo-disco braniac gloom. Much of the other new music I hear on their level just lies lifeless, souless, and flat, but New Order soars.”- Tim Sommer

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SETLIST

Chosen Time

Dreams Never End

Everything’s Gone Green

Truth

Senses

Procession

Ceremony

Denial

Temptation

Below is the full set, shot by Factory Records. Photos were shot by Taras Shevchenko.