This was how my Friday night was supposed to go: Go to a panel about new media at the Tribune Tower, and then sit at my new home — the 24-hour Clarke’s on Damen in Chicago — and write more on this bloggy thing.
But I got a call from my girl Traci, who said there was a +1 available for the Peter Hook show at Metro, and would I like to go? Sure! I said. Even though I couldn’t remember who Peter Hook was at that moment, honestly, but I love hanging with her and usually it’s something interesting. So then I retreat to my cellular Internets and realize that Peter Hook was the bassist from Joy Division and New Order, oops, right.
And then I hear that Billy Corgan is supposed to sit in on a song at some point during the show. Which I guess wasn’t last-minute news because Miles Raymer from the Chicago Reader wrote something about it earlier in the day, which I saw later — talking about the controversy/unrest regarding Hook touring with these Joy Division songs (he played the 1980 hit album “Closer”) and touting merch featuring new designs. The latter inspired Raymer to use phrases such as “explosive diarrhea,” ha, when comparing them to the classic designs of Joy Division (like the cover art for the “Unknown Pleasures” album, pictured on this kid’s forearm, an album that Hook played at The Double Door last year). The Chicago Sun-Times has another background-y article here.
I did think it was weird that Hook seemed to have a songbook up there that he’d flip through occasionally, and it was not the tightest set by any means. But I liked watching this guy play bass, a hollow body electric one, that was like a cross he would maneuver around the stage.
Corgan was of course going to come on for “Love Will Tear Us Apart (which Hook dedicated to Metro owner Joe Shanahan who was DJ-ing that night, and then Corgan goofed the timing on a lyric one time, it was rather cute). But Corgan first came in for “Transmission,” and inspired a mini mosh, as odd — and at times painful — a musical match-up as it was. I screamed a lot. Getting knocked and filming. There were Hook-aged bros in the audience who knew every word and were psyched (Joy Division never made it to play the States, Ian Curtis committed suicide right before a scheduled tour in 1980). And there were college-age kids who knew every word and were psyched (they weren’t even born before Curtis died). Sometimes it’s just nice to hear your favorite music played live by someone who once played it, I guess.