Timing is everything in rock ‘n’ roll, and I imagine it’s a lesson to which Liam Gallagher can attest. And Liam delivered his testimony in a sold-out show at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday.
After Oasis broke up in August 2009, Liam and the members of the band to which he wasn’t related waited approximately “four beers” before forming the spectacularly named Beady Eye and releasing two albums of underwhelming Oasis-influenced rock.
His brother Noel meanwhile earned plaudit after plaudit for his first two solo albums, giving Oasis fans the arena-sized music they wanted, albeit without Liam’s trademark sneer. So Liam retreated from public view for a bit and plotted his next move.
That turned out to be a 2017 solo album, written with co-writers like Greg Kurstin and Andrew Wyatt, featuring a beefed-up sound and scratching the itch of anyone yearning for the heyday of his former band. Couple that with mixed reviews from brother Noel’s “experimental” third album, and suddenly the pendulum has swung back toward Liam and the people’s champ was back in business in a big way.
Saturday’s long-awaited gig at the Lincoln, a make-up from Liam’s cancelled gig in November 2017, was filled with old fans and new, dressed in their finest Fred Perry or their Man City kits. Sadly, there was no opener for the show as Liam’s tourmate Richard “Captain Rock” Ashcroft decided to skip playing the nation’s capital, so our kid sauntered out on the stage promptly at 8 pm to the strains of “Fuckin’ in the Bushes.”
Leading off with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Morning Glory,” two Oasis classics, set the mood for the night as Liam roared through a tight (perhaps a bit too tight) 12-song, 55-minute set that leaned heavily on Oasis tunes. Liam smartly broke out a few underused tunes in the band’s catalog, including former singles “Some Might Say” and “D’You Know What I Mean.” I was quite impressed with the latter, as Oasis never could figure out a proper live arrangement for that song, but Liam’s band of hired guns did an admirable job.
As for his new songs, lead single “Wall of Glass” sounded suitably mega, but it was “Greedy Soul” and “You Better Run” that were the night’s standout tracks. Both are high-tempo stompers and are right in Liam’s wheelhouse so he can let loose when singing them.
These days Liam’s voice can be a bit hit or miss, but he was in fine form and seemed to be in a good mood to boot. He apologized for last year’s cancellation and tossed a tambourine to a group of Man City fans early in the set — and later chucked his maracas to one of the boxes in the upper level. During the encore, he dedicated “Supersonic” to Brian Cannon, the graphic designer for the first three Oasis albums, who as in attendance.
2017 was a big year for Liam and his momentum doesn’t show any signs of slowing. He’s already started writing sessions for his next solo album, and tonight he opens for The Rolling Stones at London Stadium.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
Wall of Glass
For What It’s Worth
Some Might Say
D’You Know What I Mean?
You Better Run
Cigarettes & Alcohol
All photos copyright and courtesy of Kyle Gustafson.