There are only a handful of musicians with the capability of keeping an audience of over three thousand thoroughly engaged. Unsurprisingly, Noel Gallagher is one of them. On May 3rd, and May 4th Gallagher and his High Flying Birds played Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in honour of Canadian Music Week. Without a doubt, a highlight of the festival.
If you were at the show, you may have noticed that your ticket said 8 PM SHARP. The band didn’t have an opener. In some ways, it was refreshing. You were given exactly what you paid for without having to wait for it. Like watching a movie in theatres without sitting through trailers. Gallagher’s High Flying Birds came on at 8:10 and played until 9:50. With intermission in between, of course. We love it when audiences find new ways to call the performer back on stage during encores and this time it happened with a slow clap that morphed into thunderous applause.
Dear Oasis fans, we know what you’re wondering. Did Noel play any old Oasis singles? Indeed he did. Did he play Wonderwall? Unfortunately, not. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t put on a breathtaking show. We’re a little unashamed to say that when the band performed Champagne Supernova, we got a little emotional. The song is twenty years old but the audience was singing it as if it were released yesterday, without missing a single beat. Indeed, it was a bloody brilliant performance.
On top of his newer songs, mixed with some older Oasis tunes, Gallagher kept the crowd occupied with easy banter that they ate up. For one, his English accent was extremely appealing. For another, Gallagher was hilarious. At one point of the show, he noticed a kid in the crowd, “How old are you? 6?…10! What the f*** are you doing here?” He promptly went on to tell the kid to buy the band’s t-shirt. A few songs later, Gallagher noticed that the kid had, in fact, gone and bought a shirt. On another occasion, Noel noticed an audience member in flip-flops. Safe to say, he made digs at the flip-flops several times. His harmless jokes brought the auditorium to life and made the show that much more personal.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds played an amazing show. If you saw it, you would probably agree. If you didn’t, do yourself a favour and catch him next time he visits Toronto. Especially the young musicians out there aspiring to make it big. Gallagher’s on-stage presence is rare and personal and once you are able to achieve it, you’ll strike gold. The band terminated the show with Oasis’s Don’t Look Back In Anger. A bittersweet farewell that left the audience feeling nostalgic and maybe even a little sad but remarkably satisfied at the same time.
– Shay Ansari, shayansari.tumblr.com