Oasis - Chelmsford V 2005
This was my third V, and I don't think I've seen a crowd as big for any of the headliners in previous years. The festival celebrated it's tenth anniversary with an act who a decade ago to this weekend, was going head to head with Blur in one of the most over hyped chart battles in years. As Damon heads off into the arty world of the Gorillaz, the Gallagher brothers are back on top of their game with a new album that certainly has balls, and a live performance that is everything you might expect.
As they took to the stage, Liam had a dig at Greenday, no doubt provoked by the American punk rockers massive Milton Keynes shows, as if the huge Chelmsford faithful needed reminding of how big Oasis are and what they might bring to the live arena. This wasn't the only spleen that was vented, as Pete Doherty got a fair slagging too. As his band was kicked off the recent Oasis open-air tour it was bound to happen, although some in America might argue when it comes to pulling out of shows, there is a certain element of pot calling the kettle black here in terms of the early stages of the Oasis reign. No matter, because in the UK they have been one of the biggest draws for years and the greatest thing about a festival appearance is that it gives those that aren't quick enough for the tours a chance to see one of Britain's best bands.
As far as the music goes they certainly put to bed any doubts that followed their last major festival headline slot (their Glastonbury appearance a couple of years ago was met with mixed reviews) but this one was right up with their finest. They opened with a handful of tracks from their most recent album, as I expected 'Lyla' comes into it's own live. Soon enough they were mixing and matching the new with the very old, unsurprisingly the middle of their career was left untouched as they only played songs from 'Definitely Maybe' and 'Morning Glory', aside from the new stuff and one from 'Heathen Chemistry'.
All the crowd pleasers were there. It is hard to say which got the best reaction as the Chelmsford Choral Society went for it for virtually every one. 'Morning Glory' and 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' were rolled out first, with 'Live Forever', 'Song Bird' and 'Acquiesek' nicely spread out through the middle. The pick of the bunch from this part of the show would probably have to be 'Champagne Supernova'.
The biggest sing along moments were left to the end, 'Wonderwall' and 'Don't Look Back in Anger' were massive, and the regular set closing Who cover 'My Generation' was a fantastic way to round off an excellent set. If you've never seen Oasis live, make sure you do. Even if you're indifferent about their music they truly turn on the style on stage.