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Saturday, June 18, 2005
Oasis triumphs in Toronto
**** (out of 5)
TORONTO - Oasis fans in Toronto got "Gallaghered" last night as the Manchester band kicked off their North American tour at the Molson Amphitheatre.
The catch-phrase, coined by Oasis rhythm guitarist Gem to describe late nights out with lead guitarist Noel Gallagher or his younger brother and lead singer Liam Gallagher, seemed to perfectly sum up the group's party-hearty show which followed up a contest-winners only gig on Wednesday night at Kool Haus.
Playing to a sold-out crowd of 16,000 -- who snapped up tickets in just one hour -- Oasis were enthusiastically greeted on the heels of their mighty musical comeback, Don't Believe The Truth, their two-week-old album of big-sounding, '60s-influenced rock.
And the mutual admiration society -- Liam could repeatedly be seen clapping at the almost delirious response from the fans -- carried the 95-minute show briskly along to its conclusion with a cover of The Who's My Generation.
The choice of song was appropriate given Zak Starkey, who's been touring on and off with The Who for the last few years, was the man behind the drum kit for Oasis both last night and on Truth.
Suffice to say Starkey's impressive, muscular drumming, and just the mere presence of a Beatle offspring on stage (his dad is Ringo Starr), added some genuine excitement to the proceedings.
While the Gallaghers innately possess loads of rock star cool, they aren't exactly demonstrative performers. Liam's idea of a stage move was to balance his crescent-shaped tambourine on his head, and Noel barely broke a sweat while delivering some sweet-sounding guitar solos.
The only time Noel really broke his trademark stillness was towards the end of the show after one too many CDs had been thrown on stage.
"Do you really think anyone's going to listen to them? Pick them up and you'll get a record deal? How f--king insane are you?" he said.
Arriving on their stage -- decked out in Christmas-like lights and a red velvet backdrop -- to the sound of the instrumental, F--kin' In The Bushes, Oasis wasted no time getting to new material as they opened with the trio of Turn Up The Sun, Lyla and Love Like A Bomb.
But it really wasn't until the group -- rounded out by bassist Andy Bell and a touring pianist/organist -- dipped back into their mid-'90s catalogue of Morning Glory, Cigarettes & Alcohol and Live Forever, that the major crowd singalongs began.
A similar reception greeted later favourites Champagne Supernova, Rock 'N' Roll Star and Wonderwall.
Thankfully too, there was none of this business about Liam leaving the stage early -- although he did several times throughout the show to let Noel take over on lead vocals on new songs The Importance Of Being Idle and Mucky Fingers and older tunes Little By Little and Don't Look Back In Anger.
Earlier this week in Italy, Liam's voice gave out with just four songs to go in the evening so he walked off stage and didn't return.
But last night Liam was in full-bodied, blustery voice and practically swallowed his microphone when he wasn't getting into staring contests with the audience or strangely wiping his hands on his pants.
Of the new songs, A Bell Will Ring, The Meaning Of Soul, and Mucky Fingers were the true standouts, although it was a shame we didn't get to hear Guess God Thinks I'm Abel, Keep The Dream Alive and Let There Be Love, which are equally as strong on record.
What they played:
F--kin' In The Bushes
Turn Up The Sun
Love Like A Bomb
Bring It On Down
Cigarettes & Alcohol
The Importance Of Being Idle
Little By Little
A Bell Will Ring
The Meaning Of Soul
Rock 'N' Roll Star
Don't Look Back In Anger
source: Toronto Sun
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