Peter Hook & the Light in Philly: An evening of Joy Division and plenty of dancing

Live Review

Peter Hook and the Light. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

By Shuvam DasGupta, Rock At Night Philadelphia

Live Review: Peter Hook and the Light w/El Ten Eleven at Union Transfer, Philadelphia (8/26/2022)

Peter Hook and the Light. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

There are few bands in the world that have earned a cult status and each of the members has become a legend on their own. Undoubtedly Joy Division is one such band that has made an immense contribution to the world of music with their unique new wave sound blended with the Post Punk genre. Legendary Bassist Peter Hook is touring North America with his band “Peter Hook and the Light” and Rock at Night was present at the Philly show on August 26th.

El Ten Eleven. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

It was a sold-out show at the Union Transfer with people wearing Joy Division T-shirts (especially the one with the Unknown Pleasure artwork). Given the influence the band has even on the present generation of the audience there were people from all age groups. The night started with El Ten Eleven and they put out a show consisting of absolute musical excellence. The duo performed mostly instrumental and experimental music using just a guitar (sometimes double neck) and drums. They effectively used looping and vamping to create a sound that is a blend of progressive rock and electronic music. The compact set was perfect to start to get the audience going for the rest of the night.

Peter Hook and the Light. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

Hooky (as he is affectionately called by fans) and the Light came to the stage at 8:30 and people greeted them with full energy. The room was so packed that I had a hard time moving through them to take some of my shots from the back of the hall. The band created a sound that was powerful, especially with the use of two bass guitars which is unique. Hooky with his energy and style made the crowd on their feet for the whole set. The show was divided into four parts – first, they started with a New Order set consisting of  songs such as “Age of Consent” and “The Perfect Kiss”; after that, Joy Division’s legendary album Unknown Pleasures with songs like “Disorder”, “Shadowplay”, “She’s Lost Control”; and then the entire album Closer by Joy Division. Finally, the encore consisted of the legendary songs “Dead Souls”, “Ceremony”, “Transmission” and the song everyone waited for to sing along with Hooky – “Love Will Tear Us Apart”.

The show was absolutely a success reminiscing the music from the past which is still very much relevant and modern sounding. Finally, a shout out to the management and the organizers for putting up such a great show.

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Shuvam DasGupta