Liam Gallagher @ Festival Hall, Melbourne, Friday January 5, 2018
Look up any list of favourite/best/most popular frontmen in music and you’ll find Liam Gallagher at the pointy end of all of them. In town for Falls Festival, the Manchester City supporter played a sold-out headline show at Melbourne’s Festival Hall to kick off his 2018.
Gallagher sauntered into the packed – and very sweaty – Festival Hall dripping in the confidence that only Liam Gallagher could possibly possess. Was it a coincidence that he entered on stage as The Stone Roses classic I Am the Resurrection ended? Absolutely not. Likewise, opening his set with Rock ‘n’ Roll Star? Again, no.
Lucky to get more than a few syllables out of the man between tracks for the most part during his set, the 45-year-old stood feet firmly planted in one spot, in his infamous parka and in a stance that looked like he would chin the next person who asked him about his brother Noel. The former Oasis frontman followed the opener with the generation defining Morning Glory and with seemingly every British ex-pat in Melbourne in the crowd, the singalongs felt extra special.
A white organ stood out like the proverbial on stage, with “Rock n Roll” emblazoned on it – homage to ’80s psychedelic rock influencers World of Twist, who donned the same slogan – and to be honest, this was the closest I think I’ve ever been to an almost bygone era of the genre. Splitting the set between Oasis tracks and 2017’s criminally underrated debut solo album As You Were, LG reeled off a handful of tracks from the record – Wall of Glass and Greedy Soul getting warm receptions, while For What It’s Worth took it to the next level. As much as these songs were being enjoyed, there were a bunch of songs that the crowd really wanted to hear and they weren’t off of As You Were and they certainly weren’t by Beady Eye.
Gallagher’s voice was supersonic (although he didn’t play it). As someone who never got to experience Oasis at their peak, I was afraid my expectations were too high, whereas in reality I should have lifted them higher. He sung Some Might Say as though it was 1995 again, the crowd certainly reciprocated. Personal favourite Slide Away and Be Here Now followed, before Live Forever rounded out the set – and as it was from the first moment Gallagher entered the stage, the crowd hung on his every word.
Cigarettes & Alcohol opened the encore after a deafening chant of “Liam! Liam!” rung through the venue. Those chants were miniscule in comparison though once Wonderwall began, for the first and only time all night Gallagher was not needed anymore, his presence enough to kick off a singalong of biblical proportions to end the show – Gallagher applauds the rapturous applause and swiftly exits the venue. As you were, Melbourne.
As You Were is out now via Warner.