2008 08 28 Theprovince

Oasis actually enjoying itself
Beatles influence still present but band re-energized

Tom Harrison, The Province
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2008

Each in their own way, the three acts were psychedelic Wednesday night at GM Place. They wore Technicolor coats that might not have been obvious but were there to be seen just the same.

First came Matt Costa playing in front of few people and with only his guitarist accompanying him. Costa's folky side came to the fore but there was also a fragility that hinted at a Syd Barrett eccentricity.

Ryan Adams and The Cardinals were next. The quintet arrived on stage unannounced but from its first doomy chords made an impression. If Adams is the titular head of the band on the marquee, he is more one part of the Cardinals on stage.

The first song had the first hint of the gospel harmony the Cardinals would come back to a few times. Guitars coil and strike, the pedal steel screams, the drums insinuate seduction.

The band went from a funereal dirge to Bo Diddley frenzy. Along the way they created drama and a mystique. It echoed the past and created its own atmosphere. The last song was reminiscent of '60s West Coast acid rock that ended in a psychedelic strobe-like confusion.

In the past, an Oasis concert has been anticlimactic at best, just plain dull at worst. But the new Dig Out Your Soul album, which will be released in October, indicates the band is trying hard to reclaim lost ground. The Manchester band previewed a little of it last night. It isn't overly psychedelic but does invoke a bygone era at times that could be termed psychedelic. The Beatles influence is apparent anyway and tomorrow never knows.

The band started with "Rock 'N' Roll Star," which was probably the first song most people heard by Oasis, which was fitting. But over the years the track has acquired extra dynamism while the band of Liam and Noel Gallagher, Andy Bell, Jem Archer and Chris Sharrock now punches out the song like a rude boxer.

There's a little of Keith Moon in Sharrock that adds to the band's attack and makes Oasis more exciting for it.

Noel Gallagher's riffs seem to bite down harder and Liam's singing seems more energized. It was definitely the best show by Oasis I've seen.

A new song such as "Bag It Up" displays a more integrated sound rather than a riff with Liam singing over top. There's more substance now. It speaks of a band that has rediscovered itself and is revelling in sharing what it has found.

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CONCERT REVIEW
Oasis, with Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and Matt Costa
Where: GM Place
When: Last night
Grade: B

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