For all intents and purposes, Noel and Liam Gallagher are Oasis. So in Oasis: Lord Don’t Slow Me Down, it doesn’t really matter that the rest of the band (which includes Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey on drums) wasn’t in the lineup when the group made it big in 1995 with songs such as “Wonderwall.” The two-disc DVD offers a documentary as well as a concert filmed in the group’s native Manchester, England, in 2005. In its heyday, Oasis was at the top of its game.
If Liam Gallagher ever quit the music business, he could make a nice career for himself as an actor specializing in freeze-frame. If the guy moved more than a few times Tuesday night at the Chicago Theatre, it usually was to exit when his older brother, guitarist-songwriter Noel, sang lead. But that’s nothing new. Oasis never was known for its enthralling stage presence.
You’ve got to hand it to Dogstar. It’s not easy being taken seriously when the media-and even some fans-don’t really want you to be. But the trio-which includes movie star Keanu Reeves on bass-was well-prepared for its one-hour concert Wednesday night at the Park West. Debuting 15 songs from their upcoming album, “Happy Ending,” the musicians’ aggressive set was a vast improvement over their 1995 Chicago debut at the same venue. Back then, Dogstar appeared tentative and somewhat cowed by the adulation aimed at their famous bassist. This time around, they confidently served up catchy songs with muscular rhythms and strong hooks.
In Great Britain, Oasis isnt just any band–it is the band. To get a perspective of how popular they are in their homeland, check this out: The five-man group from Manchester performed two nights at Englands Knebworth Park to more than 250,000 people. It was the largest audience for any single band in Britain.
Noel Gallagher appeared comfortable taking the stage without his brother. Whether he stayed in his usual spot–stage left–out of habit or respect for his brother is debatable (although I’m guessing the former). But if there was any question about his ability to command a crowd’s attention with his voice, it was quickly dispelled when he started their 15-song, 85-minute set with “Acquiesce,” a track not included on either of their albums. As he sang the telling refrain, “‘Cause we believe in each other,” the crowd furiously pogoed its approval back at him.
At the Aragon soundcheck, it was Liam who was intent on hassling Noel. The moody singer jumped off the stage and meandered around the venue playing with a worn soccer ball. Looking at Noel, who was still rehearsing, Gallagher took aim and expertly kicked the ball to or, depending on who you asked, at his brother. Noel stopped the ball with his right foot, but wouldn’t surrender it to Liam until the song was over.