Edison Graff / Erik Kabik Photo Group / ErikKabik.com
Thursday, March 24, 2016 | 1:58 p.m.
New Order, the iconic synth-pop band from Manchester, England, didn’t shock anyone to the core at its Monday night concert at the Chelsea in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, but it did deliver a solid set of new and old music.
Five video boards suspended above the stage displayed starkly contrasting scenes of strife, poverty, terror, serenity and everyday life as New Order worked its way through a set that included seven songs from its latest album, “Music Complete,” released last fall. Among them: “People on the High Line,” “Tutti Fruitti” and “Plastic.”
And the music, like the video boards above, had its messages. In “Restless,” the first single from “Music Complete,” frontman Bernard Sumner sang about wanting “a nice car (and) a girlfriend as pretty as a star,” but in so doing also lamented the materialism and violence that pervades society.
But it was the band’s well-known standards, along with an assist from one of New Order’s biggest Las Vegas fans, that gained the biggest responses from the audience.
Four songs into the evening, Brandon Flowers of the hometown band The Killers joined New Order onstage (“He’s upstaging us now”) to lend vocals to “Crystal,” a 2001 hit, and “Love Vigilantes,” a 1983 smash. For trivia buffs, The Killers took their name from the fictional band that appears in the video for “Crystal.”
The crowd saved perhaps its loudest response for the popular 1986 hit “Bizarre Love Triangle” (with the well-known refrain that starts, “Every time I see you falling, I get down on my knees and pray …”).
Sumner, no longer the boyish-looking singer seen in the band’s early videos, delivered a more-than-competent performance, though in acknowledging applause from the audience, he might think twice before flashing double peace signs (why in 2016 would a Brit channel Richard Nixon?).
Additionally, he might leave any dancing to his band’s music to the club rats.
New Order also features founding member and drummer Stephen Morris; guitarists Gillian Gilbert and Phil Cunningham; and bassist Tom Chapman, who played on the Chelsea stage bathed in hues of white, green, blue, yellow and purple lights that intermittently moved onto the audience.
(One concertgoer watching from the balcony reported that he had to leave mid-concert because of the effects of the beams emanating from the stage to his seat.)
Overall, the concert was engaging and entertaining. On a personal note, though, I can do without the no-seating, open layout presented at Monday’s concert. The constant pushing and shoving from many trying to gain a perceived sightline advantage on the floor before and during the concert was uncalled for and rude.
Not even one song into New Order’s set, and a full-fledged fight broke out among overzealous parties about 20 feet to my left in the middle of the floor. When a third beverage was spilled onto my partner, it was time to call it a night. We’re not like crystal, and we don’t break easily — but we had had enough.
The setlist: “Singularity,” “Ceremony,” “Academic,” “Crystal” (with Brandon Flowers), “Love Vigilantes” (with Flowers), “Restless,” “Your Silent Face,” “Tutti Frutti,” “People on the High Line,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Waiting For the Sirens’ Call,” “Plastic,” “The Perfect Kiss,” “True Faith” and “Temptation.”
Encore: “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Blue Monday” and “Superheated” (with Flowers).
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dares to be different. From the hotel’s red reservations desks to fine art found throughout the resort, The Cosmopolitan’s signature style is helping to pave its own path on the Las Vegas Strip.
Upon entering the resort, you’re greeted by pillars of video boards playing video art by Digital Kitchen and David Rockwell Studio exclusively produced for The Cosmopolitan. Just beyond that, you’ll find all your favorite casino games on the resort’s 100,000-square-foot casino floor.
The Cosmopolitan’s rooms standout as the resort’s most unique feature. About 2,220 of The Cosmopolitan’s 2,995 rooms have 6-foot deep terraces that span the length of the room, a first at a modern Strip hotel. Other in-room amenities include soaking tubs, kitchenettes and quirky accessories like artsy coffee table books.
The dining experience at The Cosmopolitan isn’t something you’ll find at other Strip resorts, either. All of The Cosmopolitan’s 13 restaurateurs are new to the Las Vegas market. You’ll find American steakhouse fare in a modern setting at STK, top-notch sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill and the freshest fish flown in from the Mediterranean daily at Estiatorio Milos.
Whether the sun is up or down, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub is the place to find the party at The Cosmopolitan. The venue is a dayclub/nightclub, complete with a pool and cabanas outside and three different rooms with three different vibes inside.
If nightclubs aren’t your thing, you can grab a drink at one of The Cosmopolitan’s five other bars, like The Chandelier, which is encased in 2 million dripping crystals.
John Taylor is the Las Vegas Sun’s copy chief.