Oasis superstar Liam Gallagher returned to the Hydro this November for a stellar sold out show, accompanied by the equally fantastic DMA’s. The frontman turned in a charismatic performance, buoyed by his always excellent hits of yesteryear.
Whether he likes it or not Liam Gallagher will always remain the frontman of Oasis, synonymous with the Manchester group who took over the world in the nineties. It’s like asking Paul McCartney to break from the shadow of The Beatles or Johnny Marr from The Smiths, despite both achieving admirable work outside their original groups both will be forever tied to them. Gallagher’s post-Oasis work on the other hand is a slightly lacklustre affair but one he mostly breaks free from with his live performance, utilising his newer work to the best of it’s capability alongside a collection of old hits, filled with some of the greatest anthems of all time.
DMA’s were the perfect audience primer for such an event with their galvanising modern-day anthems and affectionate swagger receiving a more than warm welcome from the Hydro. Their influence from the likes of Gallagher is evident but the group take what worked about a lot of the Britpop scene and heave it into the modern day, adding their own distinctive flavour and new found relevance in the process. Hits such as “Delete” and “Lay Down” went down a treat alongside the teasing of new material which leaves heavy anticipation for the group’s third album that sees release next Spring. The way DMA’s confidently commanded a crowd of many thousands was astonishing and teases the not so wild notion that the group could headline a venue of such size in years to come with their tunes feeling perfectly constructed for such huge audiences.
After much expectancy and excitement so rich it was palpable in the dense smokey air, Gallagher took to the stage with his familiar arrogant yet likeable stride to the tune of “Rock ’N Roll Star”. The opener was a well chosen one; flares were lit, drinks were thrown and the crowd were transformed to a pack of raving dogs. Slaves to the music.
The Mancunian then let rip with a host of four solo tracks, coming from his two most recent records; “As You Were” and “Why Me? Why Not.” Unfortunately his solo roster is where the set dips slightly, following favourites such as “Morning Glory” and “Columbia” would be tough for any artist, even the frontman himself. Singles such as the recently released “Shockwave” and his debut album’s “Wall Of Glass” are among the most effective but still feel subservient to the legendary anthem’s of his original band.
Following the solo spell came the trilogy of “Morning Glory”, “Columbia” and “Stand By Me”, operating as a double edged sword which highlighted their own brilliance but also the sub-par nature of more recent time’s work. The Oasis hits will always remain highly effective ones and they form the basis of a highly effective set which is further heightened by Gallagher’s always present unmatchable stage presence.
Latterly in the set more fan favourites were pulled out the bag such as “Wonderwall” and two encores consisting entirely of Oasis magic including “Aquiesce” and “Superonic”. What was more unexpected was the inclusion of “Gas Panic”, a lesser known Oasis track that Gallagher proved possesses the capabilities to stand alongside his most acclaimed work. It’s a nice touch, furthering the nature of his songs and set that make one feel like anything can happen.
Whilst the frontman’s new solo fare may not quite weigh in with his legendary back catalogue, his electric charisma, charming bravado and a set packing plenty stand-outs hits is enough to see him through for a majorly entertaining show that’s never an unrewarding experience!