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Ibirapuera, São Paulo, Brazil (1988)

Well, I was not there, being too young to be in attendence (at least that's what my folks thought - I was 12), but I remember reading the review that came out in the main music mag then, Bizz, complete with pix, and though I've searched for it on line, it seems to have vanished completely. There was actually a special separate issue (or was it for A-Ha? My long-term memory fails me just now.), with smiley Barney on the front cover, pix of Hooky wearing a red kimono, Steve and Gillian when they arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Rob Gretton at the airport, meeting up with Steve Brotherdale, who apparently lived in Rio de Janeiro just then (or so I gathered), the press conference, with a translator who kindly asked the journalists not to ask any questions about Joy Division, Barney showing the journalists the cover of their new single that was being put out that day in the UK, 'Fine Time'. Somebody told me not too long ago that that pic of New Order sitting with Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton, apparently backstage to somewhere (Barney sitting opposite them, resting his chin on his left hand), that came out on the Retro booklet, was shot in Brazil. I don't know, but as far as I remember, that's excatly what they looked like when they came down. So, if it wasn't, it was certainly shot around that time (november - december 1988). Well, beside the point.

The review said Barney seemed too nervous, which showed in his 'fragile and small' voice, and sudden movements on stage. They spoke little with the audience, they didn't move much (which prompted Brazilian journalists to label them 'cold' right away), their version of 'Sister Ray' was immediately recognised though they thought otherwise, the writers knew they were taping and shooting that gig (though they didn't seem to realise that NO apparently always did this), and thought that some major release might come out of it. In general, they thought it was a great gig. New Order were at the peak of their success down here, following the best-selling release of 'Substance', all their greatest hits were getting airplay nonstop (a great time to be a NO fan here, that much I remember!), but their nonchalant attitude on stage obviously shocked Brazilian writers, a little more used to the likes of rocking-out Bon Jovi. With the obvious exception of Hooky, who won hearts and minds beating up his little drum pad during 'Blue Monday', 'Bizarre Love Triangle' and 'Every Little Counts', being a little more playful with the crowd than the other three, and because of his cintillating then-girlfriend, who was immediately compared to Sigorney Weaver, who was a fine bird just then. I don't know if this counts for anything (Barney's anxiety, for instance), but I remember reading that they did have a problem with an 8-second echo they couldn't get rid of, and that everybody seemed very pissed off at the (late) soundcheck.

Source: NewOrderOnline.com (The User Formerly Known As Fac443)