Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Royce Hall, UCLA
Better than...Liam's nasally singing on "Wonderwall"
What do Noel Gallagher, Paul McCartney, Q-Tip, and David Lee Roth all have in common?
Each have attempted solo careers after their immensely popular groups, to varying degrees of success. In Noel's Gallagher's case, last night he unveiled his new solo endeavor, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, here for the first time.
After leaving multiplatinum band Oasis in August, 2009 following a now infamous sibling altercation -- push came to shove, apparently, when Liam allegedly threw a plum at him and chased after him with a guitar -- Noel is still bearing the baggage of his storied sibling rivalry. Liam has fueled the fire by deciding to continue touring with the rest of the band members under the name Beady Eye. (Look for a hard-hitting interview with Liam in this space in front of his show in town early next month.) So Noel has retaliated with his High Flying Birds.
An early show on his world tour, Noel opened with two crowd-pleasing Oasis covers, "(It's Good) To be Free" and "Mucky Fingers," and he then wasted no time in rattling off an uninterrupted run of six new tracks from the bands' self-titled debut, released in the U.S. last Tuesday.
The crowd certainly didn't mind. While the sing-a-long Oasis tunes were clearly the night's winners, they were also receptive to the songs they didn't know. They bobbed their heads and nearly started dancing for the group's experimental quasi-disco number "AKA...What a Life!"
That song aside, however, there wasn't too much for anyone seeking any drastic departure from Oasis' signature sound. (Which makes sense, considering much of the High Flying Birds' material was written years ago when Gallagher was still with the band.)
Still, it was interesting to notice the subtle differences that arose from Noel taking a more central role in performing Oasis' classics. His acoustic renditions of "Wonderwall" and "Supersonic" were highlights of the show, benefiting from Gallagher's harmonized vocal inflections and well-rounded tenor vocals, in contrast to the often nasally and pitchy delivery of his brother.
After a few more cuts off the new album, including "Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks" and "(Stranded On) the Wrong Beach," Noel delivered what the crowd really wanted in the end - an all-Oasis encore. He finished with "Don't Look Back in Anger." Will he stay true to these words vis a vis his brother? We shall see.
The Crowd: Mostly in their mid 30s. Oasis tunes likely got them through their college existential crises
Random Notebook Dump: The first night of OccupyUCLA was getting underway only 100 feet from the venue. When folks exited the show, suddenly there was a tent city where there wasn't one before.
1. (It's Good) To Be Free (Oasis cover)
2. Mucky Fingers (Oasis cover)
3. Everybody's on the Run
4. Dream On
5. If I Had a Gun...
6. The Good Rebel
7. The Death of You and Me
8. Freaky Teeth
9. Wonderwall (Oasis cover) (Acoustic)
10. Supersonic (Oasis cover) (Acoustic)
11. (I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine
12. AKA... What a Life!
13. Talk Tonight (Oasis cover)
14. Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks
15. AKA... Broken Arrow
16. Half The World Away (Oasis cover)
17. (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
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1. Little By Little (Oasis cover)
2. The Importance of Being Idle (Oasis cover)
3. Don't Look Back In Anger (Oasis cover)