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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisOasis may be over, but there's still plenty to devour between former members thanks to Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and the remainder of that act"s new project Beady Eye. While the latter is led by Liam Gallagher and sticks to the brasher side of Oasis' Brit-rock brand, his brother's eponymous debut turns towards the melodic and acoustic side of the pedigree (responsible for key singles like "Wonderwall" and "Don"t Look Back In Anger"). Even so, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds is far from simply a retread of the band, but finds the singer/songwriter/guitarist adapting with the times and turning in a fine batch of sophisticated craftsmanship.
Almost the entire self-titled new album was on display at Chicago's just shy of sold out Riviera Theatre, including the ethereal "Everybody"s On The Run," the gloriously Beatles-esque "Dream On" and the hypnotic "If I Had a Gun." Gallagher also displayed his swelling rocker side on "AKA...What A Life" and brought some wit to the table on "Solider Boys And Jesus Freaks," all of which continued in his penchant for pop sensibility.
Those characteristics also turned up in a plethora of Oasis tunes in the set list, which weren't necessarily the band"s biggest hits, but nonetheless rewards for those consumed by treasured album cuts. After opening with the double header of "(It's Good) To Be Free" and "Mucky Fingers," Gallagher later cranked out the glistening "Supersonic" and the reflective "Half the World Away."
Even though High Flying Birds is the leader's clear cut priority at this point, the encore also consisted entirely of Oasis tunes, ending in the smash single "Don't Look Back In Anger." As several thousand voices joined him on the triumphant chorus, it reinforced Gallagher's songwriting genius, and as he basked in their praises, the troubadour also appeared keenly aware of his influential status. The veteran may still be unapologetically cocky, but considering he continues to shape today's Brit rock barometer to nearly the same degree as his first band"s glory days, the faithful had no problem letting him get away with it.
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