Unshackled by the name “Oasis” and the tacky label “Britpop,” Gallagher senior hits the road to promote his first solo outing.
At a surprisingly less than full house, Gallagher opens with a lithe, acoustic-y version of old B-side “It’s Good (to Be Free).” The title suggests a statement of intent, but the song sounds vacuous.
His debut album features some fine songs (“Record Machine‚” “Soldier Boys‚” “Everybody’s on the Run”), and they all sounded epic. Unfortunately, the set falters, as it never gets a chance to gain any kind of momentum; as soon as the rock starts to take off, it’s pulled back down by a banal ballad.
Noel is very funny and charming, but he’s not a front man. Whereas little brother Liam could capture a crowd, Noel fronting a band of session player’s had the stage presence of a vase.
Gallagher gave the people what they came for — lots of Oasis songs. He includes ten of them in the set (and why shouldn’t he?). Some work, but a stripped down version of “Supersonic” sounded anything but. He treated us to a new song in “Freaky Teeth‚” a damn good, organ-driven ’60s-style number.
“It was a fucking pleasure to play for you lot tonight‚” Noel stated, before closing with the predictable, crowd sing-along “Don’t Look Back in Anger.”
- Concert: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
- Seats: somewhere in the middle
- Date: April 17
- Venue: Balboa Theatre