October 23, 2012
Inna and I got up early to ensure that we had packed everything we needed for our three-day trip to Toronto, Ontario. The roughly two-hour plane trip was smooth; we were among only about 20 passengers. We arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport at around 8:30 a.m. We had breakfast at Tim Horton’s.
From the airport, we rode Bus #129, which took us to the subway’s Kipling Station, a roughly 45-minute trip—fare was $3.25 per person. At Kipling, we boarded the subway train—$3-token—and alighted at Bloor-Yonge junction—about 30 minutes’ trip. The area of the streets Bloor and Yonge may be regarded as the heart of Downtown Toronto; Eaton Centre is there and countless other business and commercial establishments—boutiques, specialty shops, restaurants, hotels, and offices. If one is planning a trip to Toronto or any relatively nearby cities such as Mississauga, Markham, or Scarborough, Downtown Toronto is a must-see—a very animated and pleasantly bustling community.
When we got out of the subway station and began to walk the streets of downtown, it was almost midday. Our first stop was the record store Sunrise Records (784 Yonge St.), where I bought some vinyl records. Then we had lunch at Hue’s Kitchen (774 Yonge St.), an Asian restaurant serving Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes. I had lamb curry and Jasmine rice; Inna had deluxe wanton noodle soup.
After lunch, guided by the tips of some friends about “artist stalking,” Inna and I proceeded to the New Order concert’s venue, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (1 Front St. East), via subway train. There would be two shows—in the evening of that day and of the next day. And although we were watching the second show, we thought of going to the venue on the first day because there was a big possibility that New Order would arrive early for the customary sound check.
We arrived at the venue’s back door at around 2 p.m., where we waited patiently. It was drizzling and a bit cold but tolerable. About 3:30 p.m., the two vans parked by the back door in front of us left. We got excited; obviously the drivers were already picking up the members of the band from the hotel they were billeted.
Around 4, one of the vans came back and parked again in front of us—drummer Stephen Morris, keyboardist Gillian Gilbert, guitarist Phil Cunningham, and bassist Tom Chapman got out of the door!
While the other four fans who were also there waiting immediately milled around Morris and Gilbert, having their vinyl records autographed by the couple, Inna and I approached the ignored Chapman and Cunningham. We got pictures with them and had a little chat. We then approached Gilbert and Morris for our turn for pictures with them.
After about 30 minutes, the other van arrived—with vocalist/guitarist Bernard Sumner in it. He seemed in a hurry, so I approached him right away and asked to sign my CDs and Inna and I had our pictures with him.
We left Sony Centre very happy and contented—our mission in our trip to Toronto was half-accomplished! We’re ready for the actual concert the next day.
I don’t attribute our chance to have met the members of New Order, one of my favorite New Wave bands, to luck. We got to meet them because of resourcefulness, patience, good interpersonal skills, confidence, strategy, and of course, tips from friends who are fellow music enthusiasts.
Joy Division was a Postpunk band formed in 1977 in Manchester, England, by Bernard Sumner (guitarist), Peter Hook (bassist), Stephen Morris (drummer), and Ian Curtis (vocalist). They released two albums—Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) and produced several singles that included “She’s Lost Control,” “Atmosphere,” and the fan-favorite “Love Will Tears Us Apart.” When Curtis committed suicide in 1980, the three pursued the band but changed their name to New Order, recruited Morris’s girlfriend Gillian Gilbert to become the band’s keyboardist, and adopted a more Pop-oriented New Wave sound. Hook quit the band. New members Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman were added. In their 32 years of on-and-off existence, they released eight studio albums—Movement (1981), Power, Corruption & Lies (1983), Low-Life (1985), Brotherhood (1986), Technique (1989), Republic (1993), Get Ready (2001), and Waiting for the Sirens’ Call (2005)—and countless successful singles that included “Dreams Never End,” “Age of Consent,” “Leave Me Alone,” “Love Vigilantes,” “The Perfect Kiss,” “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “True Faith,” “Blue Monday,” “Regret,” “Crystal,” and “Krafty.”