zondag 9 februari 2020

Liam Gallagher Live. Ziggo Dome Friday 7 February 2020

Photo: Wo.
Churches in western Europe are running more and more empty. Where have all the people gone to? Well, e.g. to Liam Gallagher concerts. They are prepared to travel great distances to see the man perform and the devotion is total. As if there was no Brexit, thousands upon thousands of British citizens had crossed the sea to see the man perform. For the first time ever I was consequently spoken to in English by staff of a venue in Amsterdam, The Netherlands that is, not N.Y. state.

Watching Liam Gallagher is a religious experience. We all think he can sing tremendously good, we all think he has the best songs ever made, people shout his name at every single opportunity and we all think he truly is there for us. Just a like the benevolent God promised to us, but only in the life after this one, allowing the rich and powerful to have it all and the rest nothing. That last part is possible without believing we now know thanks to books like Thomas Piketty's and even 'The Economist' since somewhere in 2018. I had one religious question left after the show: Can a fan of Liam go to a Noel show or is it a split like the those following the shoe and those following the gourd?

Liam Gallagher is one of the haves, that is for certain. Never having him seen perform before, I have no comparison except for what I have read in the past. There are not many rock stars that look so uninterested in what they do and in their audience. Neither ones exploiting their origins so blatently. Who wander about on stage sort of aimlessly, are to lazy to really do something with the percussive instruments in their hands. Liam shows this sort of total disinterest the whole time, but also a slowness of moving making me think he's 40 years older than his current 48. While at the same time performing extremely well. Let's face it, because that was extremely telling. With an extremely good band behind him, all he had to do was sing and deal with a little chaos here and there. And sing he did, behind what his voice was designed to do it seemed. What will Brussels get tonight? (Saturday the 8th)

I only heard the very last notes of Twisted Wheel, so no words on them here. In the break hits from the 70s like Slade and T. Rex were played and ending with 'Town Called Malice' and 'I Am The Resurrection'. Something happened what I had never experience before in a large venue that is. The songs were welcomed with huge cheers and sung along to by large parts of the audience. The community singing from the pubs and football stadiums brought to the Ziggo Dome. I didn't mind joining in here. It set the stage for what was about to follow.

Photo: Wo.
'I Am The Resurrection' was to be taken literally, as at the last notes of the long outro the lights went off and the screen showed clips of Liam wondering about with a techno sort of Liam Gallagher music as backdrop. A bald headed man walked on stage, playing rhythm guitar and almost solely barre chords, so we had two fifths of the original Oasis line up on stage for the Oasis songs.

The show started with the first album song of Oasis. Some bands have a first song on a first album, that, had they never released another song, the world would still be the better for it. 'Rock And Roll Star' is such a song. Strong, vibrant, energetic, iconoclastic. And I have seen and heard it live for myself now.

"Bonehead" went off stage as the set settled in for songs like 'Shockwave' from the 'Why Me Why Not' album. The songs really held their own against what was still to come. The album is as good as I thought it was. Liam has found the right team to write with.

Slowly but surely the show moved into Oasis territory. All the big hits came by. With the oldest ones, those from before NL started to pick up the band saved for last. 'Supersonic', 'Cigarettes And Alcohol', e.g. I would have expected 'Live Forever', 'Roll With It' or 'Some Might Say' there. No, and rightly so as the audience went totally wild with those songs. 'Champagne Supernova' was there as well ending the first encore, but that was never really my Oasis song. For the audience it was though. With just drums and keyboards it was given a good rendition as the endless end of the song was skipped, making it better instantly.

A final comment. I noticed something else I had never noticed before at a concert. Without having conducted a full research of course, just looking around me, while travelling on the metro, in the line, in the venue. Liam Gallagher is a working class thing. Thick accents, beer swigging, loud, a friendly sort of rudeness and aggression. Intimidating if I had not known better, having shared the same experience. I have never seen such a strong division of class at a rockshow before. So do we in NL usually all show up and mingle or are all the rock shows I go to a middle class and up thing? A question I do not have an answer to.

All in all it was an experience and I finally got to see Oasis' biggest hits live, except for the band's biggest hit over here, 'Wonderwall', which was fine by me. A Noel song, right? I've heard that one more than enough. Most others not and probably never will. I'm glad I went and underwent this great experience and not just because I was the foreigner in my own country. The whole was just fine. Let's keep pretending. "Liam! Liam!"


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