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Monday, July 13, 2009
Oasis prove Imposssible to resist: Wembley Review
Oasis prove impossible to resist at Wembley Arena. Rating * * * *
I have seen some big gigs recently, by some of the greatest rock stars of our time: Bruce Springsteen, U2, Blur. But I have never seen anything quite like a crowd of 50,000 in the pouring rain at Wembley Stadium, arms aloft, communally singing the whole of Don’t Look Back in Anger – with every lyric, every vocal nuance and perfect phrasing – accompanied by a mute, grinning Noel Gallagher on acoustic guitar. The sheer volume of what must count as the biggest choral performance in pop history was hair-raising, the spirit of togetherness heartening.
The bond between Oasis and their audience is extraordinary. The last dates of their stadium tour, at the end of a year of arena shows, surely confirm them as Britain’s favourite band. And it is, in essence, a British experience: stripped back and utterly unpretentious, with a beery cheer allied to a macho refusal to appear to be making an effort. Oasis perform as if showmanship was beneath them.
It is increasingly hard to see how the heroes of Britpop could ever have conquered the fantasy land of America, as we once dreamt they might. There are some standard rock lights and psychedelic video effects, but compared to their heroes U2, or their actual rivals for British pop affection (not, as it turns out, Blur, but rather the family entertainment of Robbie Williams and Take That), Oasis are back in the Stone Age. They just stand still, battering out their songs, all playing together with barely a hint of musical nuance.
Drums thunder along in chunky beats made for bouncing up and down to. Guitars and bass fill up the middle with fuzzy power. The singing begins, as always, with the legendary Rock ’n’ Roll Star and doesn’t let up until the rafter-busting encores of Champagne Supernova and their near heavy metal assault on The Beatles’ I Am the Walrus. They have the songs. They play them. Works every time.
Musically, Oasis have retreated to a safe place of formula, fuelled by a suspicion of anything arty or adventurous. None of this matters to them or their audience. It’s loud. It’s basic. It’s unsophisticated. It is impossible to resist.
Via L4e / Source: www.telegraph.co.uk
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