Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011
The Orpheum Theatre
Better than: Standing among shouty drunks at a European soccer match.
Since Oasis' Gallagher brothers are apparently determined to not get along — the famously disagreeable Mancs scuttled their titanic Britpop band after an alleged backstage altercation in 2009 — we're going to have to take them separately. Bummer. Both put out new solo records this year that roughly approximate their complementary attitudes and talents: Brash, mouthy singer Liam put out a record as Beady Eye that's all swoon, swagger, and '60s rock poses — it's fun but fluffy, and sometimes annoying. Noel, the elder brother and Oasis' chief songwriter, delivered a solo debut under the name Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds that's precise, studied, subtly gorgeous, and not a little predictable.
On Saturday, San Francisco greeted Noel like a victorious general, with shouts, chants, huge applause, and the unmistakable air of adoration. Gallagher, droll, brief of word, and sarcastic, played it cool but also delivered a satisfying set of 20 songs, including all the best from his solo debut, as well as enough Oasis cuts to send the fans into starry-eyed '90s ecstasy.