“So apparently, we were destined to rock because it was getting so fucking good that it cut right here.” Exclaimed Noel Gallagher as he came back from an unexpected and brief technical difficulty during The Mexican (the PA was cut off in the middle of the song but NGHFB came right back and finished it properly).
The energy was palpable before the show even started, fans started queuing as early as 10 am (I arrived at 12pm, you know I can’t pass up a day of queuing) and we were all set to spend the evening with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, except it wasn’t just another regular concert.. It also happened to be Noel’s birthday.
The Riviera was packed. It was a sold-out show and the crowd was more than ready. Although there was no opening act (because when you’re Noel Gallagher, who the hell needs an opening act?) patience was growing thin.. Mostly due to the fact that there was no air conditioning and the crowd was growing restless but weren’t obnoxious about it. Fans congregated and had sing-a-longs while waiting for NGHFB to take the stage and just as time seemed to stand still.. Then the moment we all were waiting for arrived, the High Flying Birds Come walking out and the room erupted with plenty of cheers.
The cheering and screaming echoed throughout the Riviera as Noel walked onto the stage. He was quiet but make no mistake about his confidence, it took control of the room, there was no denying that.
The stage was well lit and the multicolored stage lights was aesthetically pleasing especially the background which featured swirls of vibrant colors/patterns, photos, videos, and even at moments the crowd singing along (during the anthemic closer Don’t Look Back in Anger). Noel sounded better than ever. His voice often soared, showcasing his incredible range through songs like In the Heat of the Moment and Everybody’s on the Run. The leading man of NGHFB set the stage ablaze but the rest of the band cannot be forgotten… Russell Pritchard’s booming bass was difficult to resist, his energy was alluring and those lush deep riffs were undeniable. Mike Rowe was a magnet of sounds as he was playing feverishly away on the keyboard. At times, my eyes were glued to Jeremy Stacy, his energy coursed through his veins and his drum playing made the room pulsate, not skipping a beat. Tim Smith also had great energy and provided the galactic riffs that alongside to Noel’s already stellar riffs even more cosmic.
Noel had a wonderful rapport and interaction with the crowd, he was charming and in great spirit. The chief jokingly and sheepishly grabbed at his neck collar when the entire crowd sang happy birthday during songs and when introducing the Oasis classic (and one of my favorites) Whatever, which he dedicated to “my Japanese friends that are here tonight… You don’t know this but in Japan they fucking cannot get enough of this next song, they fucking love it! You lot fucking ignore it completely, not you lot (motions to crowd) but your fucking culture, they’re like literally.. Whatever. Ya know what I mean? But in Japan they fucking lap this shit up! Ask her (points at fan in front row) she fucking loves it! It’s been in commercials for fucking dog food, watches, divorce lawyers.. You fucking name it!”
Before AKA… Broken Arrow a fan shouted song titles, which captured Noel’s attention and responded with a“no” which caused the fan to ask why not, playing along Noel then answered with“well cause I’m in charge” causing an eruption of applause and screams from the audience. The fan named another song, Noel scoffed at that one, the fan named another one and Noel shut that one down with an ever so calm answer of “anything else?” The fan mentioned one more, Noel thinking he said Hey Joe repeated it but but the fan shouted once more and Noel repeated the song, asking “Hey Jude?” making the crowd go into a frenzy and a look on Noel that made us think.. Oh shit, something amazing is going to happen. Noel continues with “actually (as he shakes his head yes) you know fucking what… No.” Which garnered a collection of awwe’s from the crowd and Noel answers with “I’m going to play a song that I fucking wrote” which by the crowds reaction was quite alright.
The Dying of the Light was dedicated to Noel’s mum saying, “I’m sending my mum the vibes today.” Champagne Supernova was dedicated to his wife Sarah’s friend Murray, “My beautiful wife Sarah, who’s back in England, has a very dear friend of hers here tonight and she’s ordered me to dedicate a song to him. My life wouldn’t be fucking worth living if I didn’t do this and get back. So I’m dedicating this next song, which incidentally is about absent friends, to Sarah’s very good friend Murray wherever he is, thank you. Somebody fucking put that on YouTube to prove that I did it!” I even got a dedication in, during The Mexican Noel asked the crowd if there were any Mexicans in the room and of course I couldn’t help but make my presence known. He looks at me dead in the eye, while pointing the entire time, and asks “you? For you then!” Life = made.
One of my favorite parts of the night was definitely during the encore, when Noel said that they have to go and thanking fans for coming out and traveling for the show and then said“we’ll see you somewhere down the road” causing a chaotic uproar from fans while simultaneously while taking out their phones to record the classic Oasis and fan favorite, Don’t Look Back in Anger. Every audience member knew every single word to the breathtaking song, it had every single person on the verge of tears a singing along intensely, it was the most magical and captivating moment and it was the perfect way to end the show.
Do the Damage
(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach
Everybody’s on the Run
Fade Away (Oasis cover)
In the Heat of the Moment
Lock All the Doors
The Death of You and Me
You Know We Can’t Go Back
Champagne Supernova (Oasis cover)
Whatever (Oasis cover)
The Dying of the Light
AKA… Broken Arrow
Digsy’s Dinner (Oasis cover)
If I Had a Gun…
The Masterplan (Oasis cover)
AKA… What a Life!
Don’t Look Back in Anger (Oasis cover)