22 Jul 2022

Review: Liam Gallagher at Spark Arena

From RNZ Music, 9:00 am on 22 July 2022

It’s been a long COVID minute since Aotearoa has been graced with so many incredible international musicians. And on a rainy night in Tāmaki Makaurau - Auckland we saw the return of ex-Oasis/Beady Eye frontman Liam Gallagher as he kicked off a string of world tour dates celebrating his new album ‘C’mon You Know’.

Photo of Liam Gallagher singing live

Liam Gallagher Photo: Supplied

After being patted down at the door, it became clear that this was a Manchester gathering like no other, with domestic barneys going on, more Adidas on display than a football convention, and enough Manc accents around to make a Southern English man quiver.

As the sound of football chants heralded the arrival of Liam to the stage, the combination of the bombastic visuals, cutting guitars and cheering audience reminded everyone that they were in the presence of a legend like no other. We were in for a treat. It's 40 degrees in England and Liam came packing heat.

Leading the way with (What’s the Story) Morning Glory’s ‘Hello’, it became clear that Liam wasn't going to shy away from playing Oasis songs. Early success can be a trap for artists later in their career wanting to carve new paths, but Liam showed no sign of hesitation playing the classics. Being a man of the people, he gave them what they wanted, and they adored him for it.

The tight band pummelled through ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and ‘Morning Glory’, with Spark Arena sounding like a stadium show, and Liam’s voice not missing a beat.

But of course this was firstly a Liam Gallagher show, and the quality of his solo material was obvious when songs like ‘Wall Of Glass’, ‘Everything’s Electric’ and ‘Better Days’ felt like classics in their own right. His new album ‘C’mon You Know’ really is perhaps his best solo work yet, imbibed with youthful spirit and positive energy

Next up was ‘Stand by Me’ from the 1997 Oasis album ‘Be Here Now’ (which is soon to celebrate its 25 anniversary), before ‘Slide Away’, then kicking into the only Beady Eye tune of the evening, the moody groover ‘Soul Love’.

Two more from Liam’s new album follow, ‘More Power’, with its beautiful children’s choir intro, harkening back to the Stones, and then ‘Diamond in the Dark’. Have I mentioned how good his new album is?

The show ends with a non-stop rollercoaster of feel good tunes, with ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ dedicated to guitarist Bonehead, ‘Wonderwall’ going full sing-a-long classic, and then everything peaks with ‘Live Forever’, the fountain of youth of songs. After a brief exit, the encore then sees the crowd treated to ‘Supersonic' and ‘Champagne Supernova’ before it finishes and leaves everyone guaranteed to ask their peers tomorrow, ‘where were you when the Mancunian rock god came to town?’

Liam Gallagher set list

Hello (Oasis)
Rock 'n' Roll Star (Oasis)
Morning Glory (Oasis)
Wall of Glass
Everything's Electric
Better Days
Stand By Me (Oasis)
Roll It Over (Oasis)
Slide Away (Oasis)
Soul Love (Beady Eye)
More Power
Diamond In The Dark
Cigarettes & Alcohol (Oasis)
Wonderwall (Oasis)
Live Forever (Oasis)
Supersonic (Oasis)
Champagne Supernova (Oasis)

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