Following an audio recording of the Manchester City Champions Chant, the stage suddenly went black. The opening track “Fuckin’ in the Bushes” from Oasis’ first album of the twenty-first century: Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, is being played. The Royal Albert Hall, including those seated, are now standing to attention like followers waiting for the arrival of their cult leader as their excitement elevates as the audience hears the lyrics, “We put this festival on you bastards. With a lot of love….”
Once “Fuckin’ in the Bushes” played out, any vacuum of silence was immediately filled with chants of “Li-am, Li-am, Li-am, Li-am”. A few minutes later, the stage lights returned, and Liam, with a full band ensemble including his son Gene on drums, addressed the stage. Dressed in a blue parka jacket and two maracas in his right hand, Liam proceeded to play the opening track “Hello” from Oasis’ 1995 album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
From “Hello” Liam went back even further in time to 1994 to play the song that opened Oasis’ debut LP: “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” where verbatim recital of the song lyrics amidst “Li-am, Li-am, Li-am, Li-am” grew more passionate throughout as Gallagher lent into the microphone with his hands behind his back.
The question now had to be asked: Was Liam’s cult-like presence owing to him allowing the Royal Albert Hall to revisit halcyon days when he was the Oasis frontman? The three solo songs followed, especially “Wall of Glass”, were well received. Gallagher also made his live debut of a new song, “C’mon You Know”, along with another recent track “, Everything’s Electric”, co-written with David Grohl, as well as Beady Eye’s song “Bring the Light” which Liam hasn’t performed live since 2014.
Oasis fans were not disappointed as Liam played more of his former bands’ back catalogue, mainly from the first three LPs with Definitely Maybe songs taking most of the limelight. “Columbia”, “Slide Away”, “Supersonic”, and “Live Forever”, which Liam dedicated to the recently deceased Foo Fighter’s drummer Taylor Hawkins. Gallagher continued to espouse elation of youth memories with more vociferous and passionate verbatim singing and “Li-am, Li-am, Li-am, Li-am” chanting. Gallagher also played Oasis’ “Stand by Me” from Be here Now as well as “Cast No Shadow” and played out with what can be best described as one of the most universal and global songs ever written, “Wonderwall” from (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
As far as the audience was concerned, Liam was not just an entertainer, musician, fundraiser and campaigner; he was a shaman with the power of a deity. The consistency of this prophet-like impact throughout the set was owing to Liam mixing in solo material, which closely resembled early Oasis material. Whilst some critics may lambast Gallagher for not moving away from this template, for Liam’s fan base, any moves away from this arena would be sacrilege and, to an extent, a sign that an omnipresent being has forsaken his people. At the Royal Albert Hall, Liam Gallagher delivered everything and more his flock desired from him.
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