2008 08 29 Globeandmail


Hold the 'tude, Gallagher dudes
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
August 29, 2008 at 5:30 PM EDT

At General Motors Place
In Vancouver on Wednesday

Bands generally tour to promote a new record and boost sales. But Oasis, the bad-boy Gallagher brothers' mid-1990s Britpop sensation, has hit the road - primarily in Canada - before their album even hits the stores (or iTunes). Dig Out Your Soul is due to drop in October, with the first single, The Shock of the Lightning, to be released at the end of September.

Oasis kicked off the tour Tuesday night in Seattle - their only U.S. date. They then headed north of the border for a number of Canadian shows, preceding a rash of European dates. By the time the album is in stores, they'll be back home, touring Britain. Perhaps Canada is providing the warm-up portion of the program. If that's the case, the boys might want to raise the temperature a notch.

One More Time, With Feeling Please

It's one thing to be so good at one's craft that one makes it seem effortless, but it's quite another to look like you'd rather be anywhere else. Oasis front man Liam Gallagher, suffering from a severe case of lack of enthusiasm, didn't so much as bust a move Wednesday night: standing still with hand in pocket or behind his back as he leaned into the microphone, sauntering to the back of the stage for a swig of what appeared to be water, and sometimes turning his back to the audience completely for long stretches. When the band left the stage before the first encore, he didn't so much as utter a word. If there was a thank you at the end of the show, it was inaudible. Yes, these guys have built a reputation on being surly and standoffish, but this was a bit much.

Shtick or not, some acknowledgment of the paying fans - and perhaps putting a little effort into the performance - would have been appreciated.

The First (and second and third) Noel

The blow-outs - both onstage and off - between brothers Liam and Noel are legendary. Just to add to the sibling rivalry, Noel Gallagher quietly and repeatedly upstaged Liam on Wednesday, every time Noel took over at the microphone. Seven songs in, Liam strolled offstage, leaving Noel in the spotlight - and the crowd enraptured with a stunning acoustic version of The Masterplan. Later, Noel beautifully executed The Importance of Being Idle and Don't Look Back in Anger, receiving roars of approval from the crowd (especially when the audience picked up the last few lines of Idle). He even said thank you. Perhaps Liam can learn a thing or two about manners from his big brother.

They're Still Rock 'n' Roll Stars

There's a reason these guys were huge in the nineties and are still able to draw large crowds (although they failed to sell out GM Place). They are talented musicians with a strong stable of great songs. And, bad manners aside, they sounded fantastic on Wednesday, killing on hits like Morning Glory, Champagne Supernova and, of course, Wonderwall. And the new tracks, unfamiliar though they were, give promise for the new album.

While there appeared to be a few sound issues (Liam was frequently signalling for adjustments to the technicians behind the soundboard), those kinks, unnoticeable though they were to the masses, will surely be worked out as the tour progresses. So, for the music fan who doesn't mind being snubbed by the band they're doling out big bucks to see, Oasis is worth the trip. For someone looking for a little love from the stage, it might be best to stay home and wait for the download.

Oasis plays Calgary tonight and Winnipeg on Monday, with upcoming dates in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto (Virgin Festival) and London, Ont.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

SSL configuration warning

This site has been configured to use only SSL (HTTPS) secure connection. SSL is available only for Pro+ premium accounts.

If you are the master administrator of this site, please either upgrade your account to enable secure access. You can also disable SSL access in the Site Manager for this site.