The Brilliant Mesh of New Order and First Love
Wow, huge thanks to Joe for stumbling over this link and sending it my way! MP3’s of the entire New Order concert from July 5, 1989 at Blossom Music Center- a concert we both attended just weeks after graduating from high school. The sound quality is wonderful, too, quite possibly taken from the boards, and it’s both incredibly bizarre and moving to hear it again. This show meant a lot to me. How strange and astonishing it is to hear it again.
We had a friend who had gotten front row seats for this show. He and his girlfriend left about 4 or 5 songs into New Order’s set (his girlfriend had really just wanted to see Public Image Limited who had just played, and besides, they had her mom’s new car so best to get out before things got crazy in the parking lot) and they gave us their tickets. I can still remember with great clarity the giddy rush as Joe and I ran from the lawn into the pavilion, flashing various ushers our tickets until we entered the cordoned area directly in front of the stage-which had been entirely cleared of chairs so as to allow for manic dancing. And shit, I danced my ass off. I was just a few feet away from the band whose music was the soundtrack to my teenage years and I barely had time to look up on stage to see what they were up to (not that they were then, as now, revered for their stage presence, but at least Hook had at that point abandoned performing with his back to the crowd). I had to make the most of it, too, you know- ‘cause for roughly an hour, the soundtrack was live and loud and I was practically levitating.
This show also came at a time when I was breaking up with the first love of my life, something I went about with all the trademarked dumb histrionics of an 18 year old. The day before this show I was to have spent the 4th of July with her and her Dad on their boat, cruising Lake Erie and enjoying the fireworks, the very boat (Spindrift was its name) that we had spent the previous summer sailing for almost 3 weeks up North to the Georgian Bay in. I had arrived that morning of the 4th, we had gotten in an argument and I just up and left, the boat still tethered to the dock and a light rain falling. There’s still an undertow there, even now, this event, those that unfolded over the next few months, and I distinctly remember dancing to New Order that night and letting it all unravel- the joy of dancing and of feeling unbound and without burden. Hearing these songs (and I’ve been reading some of my old diaries of late) conjures up so many memories of that particular summer. If I could go back, with just a hint more sensibility, I would have let that first love down with far more tenderness and with a lot more affection. As it was, we were at odds, as most uncouplings are, with how to successfully navigate the transition from lovers to friends.
Still, I’m happy to change nothing and hearing this New Order concert again has definitely made my day!