Sarah Recommends: “People on the High Line” by New Order

“The ghost of you is in my heart…”

Twenty-nine years ago, I saw New Order live for the first time. I didn’t know, of course, that it would be twenty seven years before I saw them again live, with one of the founding members gone, a new album (okay, 2015) that reaches for great slices of Eurotrash disco, but also fails hard (I’m looking at you, “Superheated,” and “Stray Dog,” with Iggy Pop speak/singing about goblin fire.)

The night I saw them was warm for late March/early April. I was heading towards Radio City Music Hall, and there were some kids breakdancing, and I had always wanted to do that; a body unteathered, but completely in control, ecstatic contortions that move effortlessly. New Order played “People on the High Line” that night, thumping with lasers and lights, and I realized I wasn’t that 15 year old who had to ask permission to leave the psychiatric hospital I was in to go hear one of the few things that kept me alive. Go, they said, but you have to be back by midnight. I felt free. I didn’t see the video until after the concert, and it shows what so much of their music is about for me: these almost connections, and the inevitable loneliness, but the beat is joyous, and you want to put it on repeat, and I have.

(Song recommendation by Sarah Nichols)

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