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Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Review: Noel Gallagher @ Pabst Theater , Millwaukee
At one point during his band's sold-out show Tuesday at the Pabst Theater, Noel Gallagher, the outspoken creative force behind the late, influential British pop band Oasis, chastised a fan who shouted out a request, saying he'd play what he wanted to play - and tossing in a certain expletive for edgy effect.
It was delivered as an amusing, applause-courting toss-off, but there was some truth behind it. Fortunately for his audience, what Gallagher wanted to play seemed to be what his fans wanted to hear.
Even though he's touring with his new band, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Gallagher wasn't so vain that he minimized the Oasis catalog that earned his fame: He split the 95-minute, 20-song set nearly 50-50 with old material. And while established Oasis gems received the loudest vocal support, a surprising number of new songs were also welcomed with smitten sing-alongs.
It was fitting that Gallagher started the show with an Oasis oldie "(It's Good) To Be Free"; for all it accomplished musically, Oasis was just as famous for the frequent feuding between Noel and his brother, Oasis frontman Liam, up through Oasis' final days in 2009 when Noel quit. (Liam has his own new band going, dubbed Beady Eye.)
On Tuesday, Gallagher displayed his freedom - and the renewed creativity and ambition that's come with it - in 10 soaring new songs, from anthem-amped unifier "Everybody's on the Run," to pulsating "AKA . . . What a Life!" (powered by Jeremy Stacey's steady, solid drum work) and the dreamy "The Death of You and Me," still swinging even without the Dixieland jazz section featured on the album.
The High Flying Birds are more musically diverse and less guitar-dependent than Oasis, but live, Gallagher's guitar aptly filled some holes and at times interjected a bit more bite. Oasis songs also took on a new life, from a scaled-down "Supersonic" from 1994 debut "Definitely Maybe," performed by Gallagher on acoustic guitar with light lifts from keyboard and percussion, to "Don't Look Back in Anger," ecstatically sung by hundreds of fans.
Between songs, Gallagher displayed an amusing, dry sense of humor, calling people who bought tour shirts "true fans" and encouraging the crowd to chant the name of the roadie who was skillfully filling in for the regular keyboard player, who was home with his wife and newborn.
But as a performer, Gallagher didn't display much emotional range or physical movement. If this new chapter has any shot at eclipsing Oasis and family feuds, Gallagher's on-stage persona has to be as charismatic as the songs
via L4e / source: http://www.jsonline.com
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