“one of the hottest gigs I have ever done,”

This was how Peter Hook described New Order’s first concert in Chicago on June 30th 1983, at Chicago’s Metro in his book “Substance: Inside New Order.

The packed house and the blistering hot weather caused the onstage temperature to reach up to 118 degrees, inevitably knocking out the band’s power out mid-set—which perhaps would not have been as much a  problem during New Order’s first US tours in ’80 and ’81, but this was post-Blue Monday, and New Order were much more dependant on their synths and sequencers.

The Metro’s owner Joe Shanahan, listed the gig as one of the most memorable ever at the venue, elaborated on the challenging gig to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2003:

“When New Order came, it was one of the hottest days in the city of Chicago’s history. ‘Blue Monday’ had been a huge club hit — it was like the change of music going from guitar-based punk to synthesizer-based New Wave or post-punk — but at that show, the power went down onstage because it was so hot in the club. Before it came back on they did a sort of ‘New Order unplugged,’ and it was the closest thing to Joy Division playing ‘Blue Monday,’ because they had to play it with just guitar and drums and none of the electronic gear.”

Shanahan, is also quoted on New Order’s website saying of the 1983 gig:

“I will never forget it, we all fell in love with each other that night! Chicago became Manchester by the lake for evermore.”

No recording of the gig was known to exist, until now, with The Analog Loyalist’s The Power of Independent Trucking blog resurfacing with a post of the first known audio of that concert. The bootleg is a fan recorded 10-song set— mastered by the Loyalist himself from what’s likely to be a first generation copy of the original tape recording.

The Analog Loyalist elaborates in his post about when the power outage started, which left an extended gap between Leave Me Alone, and Your Silent Face:

“Eventually, ‘Your Silent Face’ starts.  It devolves into a unique and fascinating exposition on what a sequencer-using band does when the sequencers are failing mid song — Steve Morris jumps behind the drum kit far earlier than usual, and essentially drives the song to its skittering end as the sequencers never recover.  I think this take is spectacular and I think you’ll agree.”

New Order would then go on to jam out four straight guitar, bass, and drum versions of: Denial, Age of Consent, Ceremony, and In a Lonely Place. Sadly, the recording does not contain the legendary version of Blue Monday performed that night.

Download the gig for a limited time and more about it over at The Power of Independent Trucking. or stream it here.

New Order 30 June 1983 Cabaret Metro, Chicago

1. “Confusion”
2. “Chosen Time”
3. “The Village”
4. “Truth”
5. “Leave Me Alone”
6. “Your Silent Face”
7. “Denial”
8. “Age Of Consent”
9. “Ceremony”
10. “In A Lonely Place”


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