For the first time in 29 years and only the fourth time ever, New Order is going to play a concert in Minnesota.
The British alterna-pop heroes of “Blue Monday” and “Bizarre Love Triangle” fame finally booked their return on Aug. 23 at the Palace Theatre, just a few blocks from where the St. Paul Civic Center welcomed the band’s last local gig in 1989 on a tour with Public Image Ltd. and the Sugarcubes.
Tickets for the Thursday night show will be a royal $80 for both general-admission floor and reserved balcony. They go on sale June 29 at 10 a.m. via eTix and First Ave ticket outlets.
Of course, the lineup coming to St. Paul this time around isn’t the full heyday-era New Order. Bassist and co-writer Peter Hook -- whose melodic hooks fueled many of the band’s songs -- has been out of the group since 2007 and only just settled a lawsuit over the band name and other rights last year. Hook repeatedly called the current lineup “Fraud Order” in a 2014 interview with the Star Tribune before a First Ave gig by his band, Peter Hook & the Light, which plays nothing but New Order and Joy Division tunes.
Still, the current New Order lineup – featuring singer/guitarist Bernard Sumner and drummer Stephen Morris from the original Joy Division-to-New-Order 1980 changeover, plus heydey-era keyboardist Gillian Gilbert – puts on a pretty compelling show. Alongside other fan faves such as "Your Silent Face" and "Temptation" and songs from their decent 2015 album "Music Complete," they've been typically playing a couple Joy Division tunes in tribute to the late Ian Curtis.
New Order’s only other gigs in Minnesota were at Northrop Auditorium in 1987 and First Ave in 1983, the latter a show you can strangely watch these days on YouTube. It’s not exactly ultra-compelling video, though. Whatever you think of the feud with Hook, New Order today is a much more consistent live act than it was back in the ‘80s.