42. NEW ORDER, 6/25/89

Location: Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS
Support act(s): Public Image Ltd., The Sugarcubes
In the company of: Chris, Tim S., ladyfriend

Who would’ve thunk it? Johnny Rotten in Kansas City? This show was a must-see for me, being big fans of all three acts. PiL (Public Image Limited) was fronted by John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten. If that name sound familiar, it’s because he was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, arguably one of the most influential bands to bring the punk music scene in the late 70s to an international audience. Remember his bass-playing bandmate, Sid Vicious? If not, rent Sid & Nancy. Reality was never so painful as when you’re watching that excellent film. Anyway, Lydon has mellowed a touch since then, although he did throw out many expletives during the concert, mostly insulting the midwest because of the heat and “…all these F#@#ing bugs!” Nevertheless, a great performance.

The Sugarcubes had burst onto the scene from Iceland. Bjork, the lead singer, had a sound like no other woman I’d heard. Their music was new and exciting. Songs like Delicious Demon and Birthday went down musical roads previously traveled by only a few. Bjork still has a solid solo career and a huge following, no matter how crazy you may believe her to be.

The headliners, New Order, were fantastic. Rising from the ashes of Joy Division, New Order has a sound all their own. Combining synthesizers, guitars by Bernard Sumner, a wicked bass by Peter Hook, they they thrilled a Top 40, midwestern town. For me, New Order has many, many great songs which were played for us that night. Among them were Bizarre Love Triangle, Blue Monday, and Age Of Consent.

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