Watching New Order rock out at the Hollywood Bowl on Monday night predictably filled my heart with joy and wonder. But it also delivered a huge dose of nostalgia. “We’ve been on tour for two years and this is the last bit of it, so we’re going to play a little longer tonight at this beautiful venue,” announced the band’s founder and frontman, Bernard Sumner. The crowd responded with hoots and shimmies as the band moved into the next beloved tune from a set that music from their four-decade career.
The buzzing energy of the audience was leftover from the opening set by Goldfrapp, whose lead singer, Alison Goldfrapp, served a cold dish of devilish glam rock in a fiery red cape. I definitely picture Alison in her teenage bedroom lip syncing into a hair brush to Kylie Minogue. She owned that stage with a raw force, and her angelic falsetto challenged the band’s danceable bass, welcoming my hips to pop and hands to clap.
The lineup that night was a reflection of the type of music played in my childhood home. Growing up in Los Angeles, raised by two equally stylish and music-loving parents, I was spoon fed gulps of disco, post-punk, ska, and Motown in between doses of Spice Girls, No Doubt, and Mariah Carey. But to say New Order was a soundtrack of my childhood would be an understatement.
I remember my parents would often clear out the living room furniture to create our very own dance hall, with my poor neighbors enduring my repetitive requests for The Jam, The Cure, and of course, New Order. Every lyric of their sophomore album, Power, Corruption & Lies, was at the tip of my tongue — and often written all over my middle school notebook. I was raised by atheists and guilty Catholics, therefore music was everything. It was the glue. So, sitting in the Hollywood Bowl and belting those lyrics out with other die-hard fans while New Order was actually onstage was a pretty epic moment for me.