Nearly a decade’s passed since Britpop bad boys and Oasis brothers-cum-antagonists Noel and Liam Gallagher finally put a full stop to their riotous, ridiculously successful partnership. Both have new LPs out, but judging from the wildly enthusiastic crowd at the Moody Theater on Monday, Noel the Elder is all the Oasis anyone in Austin needed and more.
Clad in black leather, smoke-black sunglasses, and fronting roughly a baker’s dozen of blisteringly badass backup musicians, Gallagher strode out onto the stage like he owned it. Frankly, he did.
Opener and debut single “Fort Knox” off his new Who Built the Moon? proved a ticking time bomb of sternum-rattling electro-rock, building up into a sonic cathedral of sound via a whirling, rushing, looped squall of anthemic feedback and backup singer Jessica Greenfield’s soaring vocals. Oasis rarely took a break between songs in their live sets – except, maybe, for the Gallaghers to bicker, often the highlight of their early U.S. gigs – and Noel continued the tradition, launching right back into the band’s other new single. “Holy Mountain” thus reimagined glam pioneers T. Rex and Sweet as a 21st century locomotive complete with horn section and enough floor-filling, hip-shaking swagger to make David Bowie weep.
Soundtrack genius David Holmes produced Who Built the Moon?, so consequently Gallagher & Company’s live vibe was raucous, daring, and true. After a brief respite from the new, the band returned to a trio of older hits (in the UK at least) from previous two LPs, chief among them the plaintive, downtempo “If I Had a Gun.” And naturally, it wouldn’t be a Noel Gallagher concert without some classic Oasis hits thrown into the mix.
Since he was the chief songwriter throughout the band’s career, his massive sing-alongs “Little by Little,” “Half the World Away,” and “Wonderwall” lit up the Moody Theater with stadium-worthy lightshows from both the band and a thoroughly blissed-out crowd swapping out old-hat ciggie lighters for far more fitting and fashionable iPhones.
Gallagher’s old Oasis mates, monster guitar god Gem Archer and drummer Chris Sharrock, turned everything up to 11, broke the knob off, and set the amps aflame for the ultimate encore. That included two more Oasis masterpieces, “Go Let It Out” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” The finale proved as unsurprisingly surprising as it was joyously welcome: The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”
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