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Salvatore Bono

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Noel Gallagher Flies High at the Beacon

Posted: 11/16/11 11:42 AM ET

In the summer of 2009, backstage before headlining V-Festival in France, Oasis broke up. In a bitter fight between the band's two brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Noel left the band and quit. Though this had happened before, this time he meant it. The brothers have not spoken to each other since, but they have scolded each other in the press and listened to each other's music and bashed it. Two years after the bitter Oasis split, Liam Gallagher, along with the remaining members of Oasis, formed Beady Eye. The band released their debut in June, Different Gear, Still Speeding to roaring approval and sold-out every show they played around the world. Beady Eye took the roaring balls-to-the-wall approach to their style of rock and roll and proved Liam can manage on his own. Now, months later, Noel has his say.

In the much hyped debut of Oasis' former songwriter and creator, Noel Gallagher released his solo debut, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and the album proves one thing -- Liam is the rock star, but Noel is the musician. Noel's debut is crafted of beautiful layers and brilliant lyrics; in fact, it is some of his best work in years. The two brothers are now the Romulus and Remus of rock and roll and we all know how that story ended.

As hyped as Noel's solo debut was, so was his sold-out small US tour. Taking the stage at 9pm in the second of two sold-out gigs at the Beacon Theater, Noel went to work. Opening with the Oasis B-Side "(It's Good) to be Free," a fitting opening and clear jab at his former job, he then went into the deep Oasis track "Mucky Fingers." Noel grabbed the crowds' attention straight away. Switching guitars the way George Clooney switches girlfriends, Noel sonically battered the audience with his opening numbers that eventually went into his new solo work with "Everybody's On the Run," and "Dream On." It would take a few songs before he finally addressed the crowd and his banter to the audience was thanks in part to a young girl in the audience who asked for a guitar pick. Noel obliged and walked over to the tween and handed her a pick. "There is a lot of T-shirt buying in that kid!" Noel joked. As he continued onto his solo work, Noel and his High Flying Birds sounded perfect and backed by a simple yet effective light show, they were delivering everything fans hoped. The highlight of the main set would come when Noel grabbed an acoustic guitar and, backed by his pianist and former Oasis touring member, Mike Rowe, performed a very alternative version of his breakthrough hit "Wonderwall," while the crowd sang and cheered along. It was then into an acoustic and stripped down version of "Supersonic" that really had everyone at their feet. While the set altered between his solo materials, Oasis B-sides, deep cuts and hits, Noel was in top form. An hour and fifteen minutes later, the first set, which seemed to go by like a blur, was done.

"Thank you for having me, this venue is beautiful. F*ck Madison Square Gardens, this is a great place!" Noel said as he returned to the stage for an amazing three song encore that was full of Oasis tunes. Closing with "Don't Look Back in Anger" and the crowd ripping the seat cushions off the chairs and chanting along like it was a European soccer (football) match, Noel smiled from ear to ear. His time has come. He realizes that he has made songs that have changed people's lives and that he knows how to make the perfect pop-rock song, no matter what band he is in. With all the drama that his previous outfit had, he cannot look back in anger -- it built who he is now.

 

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