Friday, February 24, 2006

Concert Review: Oasis Live in Singapore

Oasis Live in Singapore
Singapore Indoor Stadium
23rd February 2006

Well, they didn't exactly start at 8:oopm sharp, who would? The most punctual band I've seen is The Cranberries, who started the show only 10 minutes after the stipulated time. And that's cos it was a double bill concert with No Doubt, so they couldn't afford to take their time.

Anyway, they concert started at 8:40pm, which is quite punctual already. It is a weekday and a lot of people (myself included) were still rushing down after work. When the lights dimmed and some funny music played, I thought it was the opening band. However, it was not to be and Oasis themselves appeared soon after.

I had bought the cheapest tickets available ($68 plus that stupid $2 SISTIC fee, therefore $70) so I was seated all the way at the top deck. However, I had barely sat down for 10 minutes when it begun and since I was quite hesitant to move to the front of the balcony, the best standing spots were taken. Nevertheless, my other concert-going mates decided to move down as well and we ended up standing throughout the whole concert, away from our seats. Quite ironic, since we paid $70 for those seats.

Anyway, the concert didn't exactly start off with a bang, as Oasis preferred to open the show with Turn Up The Sun, a mid-tempo number that also opens their Don't Believe The Truth album. This was followed by their recent chart-topper Lyla, but it also didn't really heat up the audience.

I shall not attempt to do a chronological review of the setlist since I can't remember it anyway. Instead, I will mention only the highlights.

One of them came early on as Liam retreated backstage while brother Noel gamely took the mic and sang The Importance Of Being Idle. I loved the song immediately when I first heard it at HMV last year, and after listening to it live, I love it even more. And I tell you, Noel's voice is amazing. He sounded soooo good. Much much better than Liam. But they're different style lah.

Noel's voice was so smooth and nice, and everyone in the crowd was mesmerised by his singing. There was even one point during the song where it was just him singing with his guitar, and practically the whole Indoor Stadium was quiet. Everyone was listening to him intently. That was my favourite performance of the night.

The setlist leaned heavily to material from the new album, not surprisingly. Even the lacklustre God Thinks I'm Abel got dragged into the encore. But Oasis did not forget to perform their biggest hits. Songs like Wonderwall ("this one's for the ladies"), Champagne Supernova, (What's The Story) Morning Glory and Live Forever were deservedly heavily applauded by the fans. They even performed lesser-known fan favourites Acquiesce and The Masterplan.

They however left out songs from their Be Here Now album entirely, so we missed out on Stand By Me. The songs I was missing most was Some Might Say and Roll With It. Just too bad.

They tore through the songs at a ferocious pace, and left the stage for the first time just one hour after they had stepped foot on it. After some feeble attempts by the fans at screaming and shouting "encore", Oasis emerged for an encore of three songs, including the second best song of the night, Don't Look Back In Anger. Coincidently, it's also sung by Noel.

Noel emerged as my hero, more so than Liam. Noel sang beautifully and played all the guitar solos as well. Liam just sang in his usual half-slurred manner and played the tambourine half-heartedly. Hell, I can play the tambourine better than him.

Liam seemed very tame tonight and he even clapped at the end of the song a few times. It's just too gentlemanly and act and it seems so unlike him. I wished he brought more of his attitude along--smoke a fag, say some swear words or even appear drunk. He did none of those. Think he was afraid of getting into trouble with the authorities. It's Singapore after all. Chewing gum is still banned.

Oasis is not a showy band like Franz Ferdinand, who have tons of energy and jump around a lot. In fact, the guitarists of Oasis hardly even moved at all. They're seasoned pros who have been doing this for the past 12 years and it shows.

The band sounded good. The volume was just right, nothing too deafening like the Franz Ferdinand one (I wasn't there but I heard [pun unintended] from people) or the Avril one (I was there and I could barely hear after that).

The standing crowd was mostly subdued as Oasis songs are not the dancy type or head-banging type, so this could have led to some in the stands feeling that the concert was a little underwhelming.

While not my most enjoyable concert (that honour goes to the Cranberries/No Doubt double bill), I still thought that it was worth the price of the ticket. Listening to Don't Look Back In Anger live and singing along with it with 9,000 other fans is heavenly. I just wished that Liam brought along more of his swagger and it would have been perfect.


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