GIG REVIEW: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds | Melbourne | 29.3.16

Thursday, March 31, 2016

I can’t remember the last time I went to a gig where there wasn’t an opener, but when you are the legendary Noel Gallagher, you don’t need one. He walked out to the sound of ‘If I Had A Gun…’, which had me excited as it’s my personal favourite track— unfortunately it was a tease and I was going to have to wait a little longer to hear it. Instead, he opened with ‘Everybody’s on the Run’ from his self-titled debut album. Because I am in my twenties, the moment to catch Noel, or Oasis for that matter, has been rare (though he was here a few years ago for Big Day Out). I have seen brother Liam’s now defunct band Beady Eye, but I can’t really say much about them as it wasn’t remotely memorable (not that I am choosing sides). The moment Noel began singing, I was blown away. His vocals were perfect, better than I could have ever imagined. 

It’s impossible to write this review and not mention the bubbles - don’t worry Noel, the bubbles have no impact on how I viewed the gig. I’m not sure what someone was thinking when they brought bubbles to with them to the show, but it was pretty funny. Part of me thinks that they did it to annoy Noel intentionally. During the show Noel called out the fan, he said “Hey El Houdini. Someone actually brought a fucking bubble machine to a gig? You’re a magician? Why don’t you make the bubbles disappear then? Did you pay to get in? Or did you magically get yourself through the fucking door. If you bought a ticket, you’re a shit musician.” This didn’t stop the fan from sporadically blowing bubbles during the rest of the show. You were brave sir.

Another moment he showed his brutal honestly was before he played ‘Sad Song’, he said to fans that is was okay for them to go to the merchandise desk during the next few songs if they didn’t know them as 'someone has to pay for all this expensive shit’. 

I am sure much of the people who bought a ticket did so simply because they love Oasis, but it was clear that a number of people were there because they love what Noel has done solo. I mean, Oasis were one of the best rock bands around for a while, so you can’t stop fans from still hanging on. However, what Noel has done is bring his impeccable songwriting skills and immense talent to his High Flying Birds in mighty style. Solo material he played included ‘Lock All The Doors’, ‘In The Heat Of The Moment’, ‘The Dying of the Light’, ‘You Know We Can’t Go Back’, ‘The Mexican’, and my personal favourite ‘If I Had A Gun…’. 

He did squeeze in Oasis b-sides, including ‘Talk Tonight’, ‘Sad Song’, ’D’Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman’, and ‘The Masterplan’. He saved the massive Oasis hits such as ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ for his encore. 

I heard a few people complain as I walking out about the sound - supposedly a few people had trouble hearing the vocals. From where I was sitting, I could find little faults with the sound. I do think the sound people at Margaret Court Arena could of had the sound a little higher, but perhaps there were restrictions— anyway, the slightly lower sound isn’t enough to draw criticism to. 

Many still fight for an Oasis reunion before the gig, I was one of them people. After watching Noel, I no longer think Oasis ever need to reform. There is no reason for them to get back together, well apart from monetary reasons. Noel is keeping the beautiful spirit of Oasis alive through his music, and that’s more than a enough for me. Plus, do we need any more Noel vs. Liam spats? I don’t think so. Let’s just let Noel do what he does best for the greater good. 

Words by Amy Smolcic
Photographs by Kristy Smolcic