The other night I took my friend to see Oasis at General Motors Place in Vancouver. I’ve never seen them live, don’t know many of their songs other than the ones that get Radio Play, and know some of the back history of the band – so thought “before I write a review of this particular show, I’d best let it settle for a few days to ensure I remain objective about it”.
One can forget past history and give a band the benefit of the doubt, one can look past the band having to use sheet music to be able to sing their new songs, (they’re new songs right?), one can even look past the ego of a lead singer (don’t all lead singers have some sort of ego?)… but even at that, the best I can do is be objective without being completely negative.
I was totally underwhelmed by the show, and there was nothing exciting or memorable about it that will help draw me to the band, or into buying their new album when its available. They came out amid cheers that shook the venue (which was far from sold out btw), and launched straight into the tunes. After about three songs, the crowd had settled down and I watched most fans trying to find a way to move, dance, or show their appreciation of the music, but not quite making it. Much of Oasis music is not danceable so many fans just swayed in place.
Liam Gallagher is not known for moving much on stage either, typically leaning into the mic with one hand behind his back. When he’s not singing, he just stands there though. He doesn’t try to dance, doesn’t interact with any of the other band members, doesn’t interact with the audience in any way. I found it quite odd actually, especially when the audience of obviously Oasis fans sang to a few of the more well known songs at the top of their lungs, and there was no spark, no recognition back from the very men they were singing with. The only person on stage that showed any sort of spark of enthusiasm or energy, was the drummer who apparently is new to the band. The rest of the band seemed to be just going through the motions, really not enjoying any of it.
As I said, there is back history with this band in Vancouver. Last time they were here, they stormed off the stage after only 4 or 5 songs; apparently someone in the crowd threw coins at Liam (and hit him its said). I got the distinct impression that Vancouver hasn’t forgiven Oasis for that, nor has Oasis (or Liam) forgiven Vancouver. At one point in the show, someone must have tossed something again, because Liam stopped singing, backed up and hesitated… the song played out, and he spoke to the audience in a muffled voice – something about ‘if you guys are going to fuckin throw things at me again, I’m fuckin out of here’, and then someone proceeded to toss a t-shirt on stage which hit his foot. He didnt even look at it, and the band took a short break, then came back to finish up with 5 more nearly accoustic songs. (Apparently we were blessed, they don’t typically do encores).
As I said, I’ve really tried to give this band the benefit of the doubt – tried to remain objective especially as I’m not a die hard fan of their music… I think they’ve matured, especially Liam – he didn’t walk off in a snit this time for example… but I’d not pay to see them again live. I paid for a rock concert – I paid to have a grand time with a great band who at the very least might accknowledge the fans by saying ‘hello’, or ‘nice to be here’ , or something. They may be technically perfect, but they’ve got a lot to learn about showmanship and involving the audience in the experience. Stiff upper lip just doesn’t cut it in the business of entertaining fans.
Ryan Adams opened for Oasis – I’ve always been told if you can’t say anything nice – so I won’t say anything except the singer on before Ryan, Matt Costa, outshone Ryan in every way possible. Matt’s voice is stronger, clearer. He took the time to introduce himself at the beginning, to thank people for listening at the end and in the middle. He engaged the crowd even though the venue was nearly empty at that point, and had us actually listening and clapping after each song. I”ll definitely be looking for more of his music.
You can find a positive Oasis in Vancouver review Here and a not so positive one Here I’ve also heard ‘much better performance in Vancouver than in Seattle’ so one can only imagine how they were there.
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