Where Did It All Go Wrong?
With Oasis, there is the feeling that you always know what you are going to get. There can be no debate that the band have enough great songs to make a stadium rock and that even with little enthusiasm; any show by the band will be greeted enthusiastically by a crowd whose memories have been built up through years of listening to these songs.
This is perfectly fine for a nostalgia act or a reunion tour but Oasis are meant to be a current concern, a band that still pushes on but on nights when their attitude isn't right, they let themselves and their fans down badly.
Starting with Andy Bell's 'Turn Up The Sun' it took four or five songs for the band to even acknowledge the crowd, and even then it was Noel making a sarcastic remark to the crowd. This writer has always had a lot of time for Noel Gallagher, having found him to be mostly witty and incisive but these remarks showed him up quite badly. Playing to a foreign crowd where some of the ticket prices were equivalent to two months rent and with many fans finding themselves at their first major gig or festival, to be openly critical of them was a major error.
Liam has now become a cartoon character of himself, his pauses, stares and grumbles used to be those of an angry young man, now he acts this way because it is expected of him. Gallagher junior frequently finds himself compared to Ian Brown but on their Bangkok showings that can only be because of the tracksuit, hair and sunglasses as Ian Brown was miles ahead in terms of demeanour and class. The rest of the band just looked embarrassed at times.
Musically, after a leaden first couple of tracks, the sound levelled out and was quite good but not until it had ruined 'Lyla' where only the drums and vocals could be heard.
With regards to the drums themselves, Starkey does a very fine job throughout the set, proving himself to be a very competent drummer and brings new life to some songs that have been the soundtrack to many people's lives.
And it is the songs that mean so much. 'Morning Glory' and 'Champagne Supernova' had the audience singing along with every chorus and 'Wonderwall' has never sounded so good, as it is now a more menacing and darker version than its original incarnation. Whether this version would have surfaced without Ryan Adams creating a good cover of it is up for debate but it was very well received nonetheless.
With B-sides like 'Masterplan' and 'Acquiesce' also cropping up during the set, all the great areas of Oasis's career were briefly touched upon. With so many class songs up their sleeve, it would be impossible to please every fan but the amount of current material (and weaker material was played rather some of the stronger songs from Don't Believe The Truth) only highlighted that Oasis are nowhere near the musical superpower that they once were.
With a 4 song encore, featuring two recent thrash alongs and the abomination that is their cover of 'My Generation', only 'Don't Look Back In Anger' could claim to have been a fitting end for a band of the status that Oasis have and the irony of that title cannot be felt enough.
For all that there were great songs throughout the set, that's all there was. There was no connection between band and crowd and the band didn't even seem to want to be there. When someone remarks that they were not too upset at seeing Oasis turn in such a lazy, petulant performance as it was no great surprise; it's a sorry state of affairs for a band that once burned so brightly.