DUBLIN - Every website says it was the first one, but of course it wasn't the first concert by Noel "solo" (is he really solo? he always needs a band), without Liam... you can remember the Unplugged in 1996, and the gig for Tibet (so the Chinese communists banned Oasis, and Noel said the "fuck me them communists.."), the tour around in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc., the TCT shows in 2010, and in every Oasis gig he always played some songs without Liam. So the Noel people saying he's a new solo artist, to justify some poor performance, they make me laugh. As you can see from the pic, they're sick, lol.
The Olympia Theatre in Dublin (about 1,300 people only) is buzzing. Hundreds of fans move in unison, the majority of them no doubt struggling to retain their excitement (but Beady Eye had the same reaction last March, the people already knew the lyrics of the songs). This is what they've been waiting for. This is the moment of truth. This, folks, is what happens when rock stars start over. Oh, but Noel said he's not making rock anymore. And then - around about the time that Sally's soul slides away - it happens. Yep, one unfortunate punter loses his mind.
"There's only one Gallagher!" he shouts, raising his beer for added effect. Sadly, Noel doesn't seem to have heard the poor chap. And if he did, it might have brought a smile to his face. But then, the eldest of rock's most famous brothers isn't one to show his emotions. Well, not when he's in the middle of a gig, anyway.
With Liam, he may give the best quotes in rock, but Mr Noel Gallagher is hardly the most gifted live performer to ever grace a stage. At least Liam has presence. Hands behind the back, legs spread, parka on - younger Liam is one of a kind. But his brother (the "talented songwriter") stared out from the sides; that knowing look in his eyes that said 'to hell with swagger, these are my songs, man, and I'll play 'em as I like'.
Even some of his fans don't like that attitude, because it was also Liam making Noel songs unique.
Musically speaking, it's a fairly solid set - a neat mish-mash of old vs. new, his recently released High Flying Birds material sitting alongside the anthems of yesteryear. But even his fans didn't like much the choice of those Oasis songs, would have preferred other ones. A slightly reworked, acoustic rendition of Wonderwall could have been better (this is Ryan Adams version), and "Don't look back in anger" misses Gem guitar solo, there's a piano "solo" instead.
Maybe the drummer is playing some tunes too fast... Noel's got a skilful group of musicians to work with, but there's very little to suggest that Noel is enjoying life after Oasis. It's all just a little too boring - too rehearsal-like. Good player, average performer. Which is a shame. A little more banter in between songs would have been nice, too. He said he didn't want to talk, but then he was talking. He said he didn't want people to talk to him, but then they were talking. He said he wasn't going to play Oasis songs linked to Liam, but then he played songs linked to Liam. He said he didn't want to sign anything for anyone, but then he signed autographs.
Indeed, when Noel gets going, he could be a joy to listen to. But is it wrong to ask for more from a frontman? It's time for the guy to step outside the box; shake things up a bit - act like a star, basically. He does only sometimes in some wrong moments: avoiding fans waiting for an autograph... This time here there were only a few ones waiting for him, "four cats". This Gallagher needs some improvements.
2 stars out of 5 (just as many reviews of his album)