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This past Tuesday night at the Catalyst here in Santa Cruz was one filled with dimmed stage lights and dark clothing as seasoned LA-based post punk band Moving Units payed their tribute to the Joy Division. The band have not been shy talking about the tour on social media and the hype was building since the tour date pop-up on the Catalyst’s concert calendar. Needless to say the crowd that night was dancing and singing along to every Joy Division and Moving Units song played.

Moving Units came to prominence in the early 2000s with the rise of dance punk and post punk revival. After the release of their first album, Dangerous Dreams, in 2004, the band received attention from music publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Later on, they would share the stage with acts such as the Pixies, Blur, and Nine Inch Nails. This past April, the band released their fourth album Damage With Care and soon plan to do a wide release for their versions of the iconic post-punk songs of Joy Division.

While much popular and critical attention is paid to the only two studio albums Joy Division produced before the untimely death of their lead singer, Ian Curtis, Moving Units made sure to cover the whole spectrum of Joy Divison’s discography. They played songs from the An Ideal For Living EP to songs only found on compilations and singles like Transmission or Digital. While much respect was given to the songs to play them true to the original, Moving Units nonetheless were able to add massive amounts of energy to these songs. One songs after the other, singer and guitarist Blake Miller sang his heart out and gave a truly unforgettable performance grabbing everybody’s attention, clapping, and have the crowd sing along to every word. After all the Joy Division songs were played, Moving Units played a few songs ranging their whole discography all the way back to their first EP in 2003. As the drums pounded, the bass thumped, the guitars hummed, and synths sang until the end of the show, every person in the venue were having fun dancing and ramming against the stage to get a chance to scream along to their favorite songs.

If you missed this show, there is still a chance to see them on this tour. They’ll be playing Sacramento August 3rd and Los Angeles August 7th and I cannot recommend enough to see this show if you have the chance.


Written by Brandon Oleksy

Photography by Brandon Oleksy