When I was but the tender age of 12, I had this ongoing fantasy of being a famous indie frontwoman by the age of 20 and recording an album with Noel Gallagher in my California beach house. While I admittedly ended up a very tired college student when my 20th year rolled around as opposed to the next Courtney Barnett, I was still blessed with the chance to see The Man Himself who wrote half my childhood this past weekend.The Man takes the stage.
For as long as I can remember, the music of Noel Gallagher has been a key component of my life. I’ve mentioned on here before how my dad would rock me to sleep to the “Be Here Now” album when I was a baby, and when I used to rollerblade as a kid I was always listening to “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” (one of my favourite albums to this day) or “The Masterplan” b-side compilation. Oasis, and Noel’s solo work, is still always in my usual Spotify rotation, no matter the season.
So the chance to finally see Noel after being heartbroken as a kid in 2009 when I read in Spin that Oasis was inevitably bound to break up was, quite simply, such a happy experience all around. I went with my dad and some of his best friends, and getting to share that moment with someone who inspired my love and appreciation of Oasis and Noel made the experience even more enriching.
Noel was a great performer, sticking mostly to playing his music but taking several breaks to joke with the audience (my personal favourite being when someone in the crowd showed him her new “Live Forever” tattoo and he smiled and said, “Did you get any money for that?”). I loved seeing women being included in his band, too.I was a bit far back, but still had a great view.
As far as the High Flying Birds go, I’m much more a fan of their 2011 debut as opposed to the newer material from 2017’s “Who Built the Moon?” but I still enjoyed singles like “Holy Mountain” (a great banger of a Noel track, and even better live) and “She Taught Me How To Fly.” I also loved his inclusion of “In The Heat of the Moment” in the setlist, as any track where Noel’s vocal range is prominent is bound to be a favourite of mine.
His inclusion of “The Importance of Being Idle” (one of my dad’s favourite Oasis songs) and was another highlight, as it’s pretty exciting to see a song you used to listen to in the car as a 7-year-old get performed in front of you. And “Go Let it Out” was a great surprise in the encore.
Of course “Don’t Look Back in Anger” was a highlight, especially when you’ve just grown up watching videos on YouTube of people singing the final refrain back to Noel and you finally get to be one of those people singing to him in person.
All in all, it was such a wonderful concert experience. The set list was tight and featured a solid mix of tracks spanning Noel’s career from Oasis to the present. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time, and I think that’s a pretty solid indicator that this was a show I’d highly recommend to anyone who’s a fan of Noel’s music.
As always, thanks for reading, and God bless.