Review: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds @ Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne (29/03/2016)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Tuesday 29th of March, 2016 – Maragaret Court Arena, Melbourne

Setlist:
Shoot a Hole Into the Sun
Everybody’s on the Run
Lock All the Doors
In the Heat of the Moment
Riverman
Talk Tonight (Oasis cover)
The Death of You and Me
Champagne Supernova (Oasis cover)
The Dying of the Light
Sad Song (Oasis cover)
D’Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman? (Oasis cover)
You Know We Can’t Go Back
Half the World Away (Oasis cover)
If I Had a Gun…
The Mexican
Listen Up (Oasis cover)
Digsy’s Dinner (Oasis cover)
The Masterplan (Oasis cover)
—————
Wonderwall (Oasis cover)
AKA… What a Life!
Don’t Look Back in Anger (Oasis cover)

A week before the gig an email went out to all ticketholders that the gig was starting at the early time of 8:30PM sharp. Start-times had recently been a topical discussion in Australia with Madonna not taking stage till after 11PM on some of her weekday shows during the pop-queen’s March tour. Tonight the crowd would be more than happy for an early start – as the medium age of the crowd is skewed to the late 30’s.

Not quite sold out, but the fans that did make the show were treated to a 50/50 split between Noel’s High Flying Birds and Oasis material. The night begun with b-side Shoot a Hole Into the Sun and the back-drop behind the band showed various images with live inserts of Noel and co. which were being filmed on the night by go-pro’s of some sort resembled something a Year 10 student would put together for his part-time band. We could tell one thing early that is for sure, tonight won’t be a visual gig, but it was never going to be.

In the Heat of the Moment had the crowd singing ‘Na Na Na Na….’ in the song that is arguably one of most solid songs from the band’s latest album. Noel was quiet early and did not seem to be in the best mood (is he ever in a good mood?) in between songs until the crowd starting yelling out request to the ex-Oasis frontman. One punter yells out his request of “Live Forever!”, Gallagher responds quickly “Have I ever played it before? Why?”, the punter responds claiming to be Noel’s biggest fan and Noel unloads again “You’re not even my tallest fan, let along my biggest fan” as he then points out Sandra who Noel claims that she has followed him around on his entire world tour.

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Talk Tonight was the first Oasis tune of the night, and the crowd’s enthusiasm and singalongs tripled and the inner hooligan in some  punters was released from within. Chants of “NOOOOELLLL!” echoed between songs at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena. Champagne Supernova was one of the highlights featuring a massive deafening singalong and old men on shoulders.

Mid-way through the night Gallagher has a bit of fun with a punter that is blowing bubbles towards the stage. “So you bought a fuckin’ bubble machine here? You’re a fuckin’ magician? Well why don’t you make the fuckin’ bubbles disappear then?”. Once the bubbles stop a song or two later, Noel brings back his attention to the fan, “Thanks for making the bubbles disappear….Did you pay to get in, or did you just magic yourself to the front row? If you did pay to get in, you’re a shit magician”. Later Noel mentioned, “If they mention in the fucking review of this gig that I had a shit bubble machine on stage you’re in fucking big trouble”, this is why many love the great man, hilarious!

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If I Had a Gun… is a great ballad and songs like this prove that the High Flying Birds out-muscle Liam’s new projects. The Masterplan has been one of my favourite Oasis tracks and is a huge delight to hear it live, it brings us to the encore break.

Returning back from the encore beak, Noel and his birds fly through three cracker tracks, beginning with the signature Oasis track Wonderwall, but this time Noel channel’s Ryan Adams and performs the American singer-songwriters version of the song. The upbeat AKA…What A Life! is next, which is then followed with the set-closer Don’t Look Back in Anger. As soon as the keyboard plays that ever so familiar intro the crowd stretch their arms to their pal beside them and use the other hand to throw into the air for the epic “And sooooo Sally Can Wait…”. A brilliant masterpiece and a brilliant way to end the night as we head into the night with many other punters trying to find a pub that is open in Richmond…which is surprisingly tough on a Tuesday night.

Rating: 8/10

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