Review: Beady Eye – Live in Minneapolis, Dec 5, 2011

at First Avenue in Minneapolis

 

Setlist 

Yellow Tail, Four Letter Word, Beatles and Stones, Millionaire, Two of a Kind, For Anyone, Three Ring Circus, The Roller, In the Bubble With a Bullet, Bring the Light, Standing on the Edge of the Noise, Kill for a Dream, The Beat Goes On, Man of Misery, The Morning Son, Wigwam, Encore: World Outside My Room, Sons of the Stage (World of Twist cover)

 

Review

There are a few things that Beady Eye are doing right: First off, they aren’t attempting to tour under the Oasis tag – Amen! Pink Floyd, The Smashing Pumpkins and too many other bands
have lost their leader, or key members, yet tour with just a fraction of their original lineup.  Did Pink Floyd ever sound like Floyd after Roger Waters left? Hell no. Do the Smashing Pumpkins miss three-fourths of their original lineup? Hell yes. Beady Eye’s credibility gains steam from the start by doing this on their own. Secondly, Liam maintains that classic rock pose in front of the microphone. Love him or hate him, you know he’s not standing there to whisper or pillow talk you – the man is there to sing and let it fly. Lastly, these are some talented musicians. Make no mistake, this is a potent rock and roll machine on tour. It’s an amazing opportunity right now to see these men up so close where in years past you were feeling squished like the frosting in an Oreo cookie with 80,000 fans while watching from 3000 feet away at a festival.

Now…there are a few things Beady Eye doesn’t do right. For starters, they lack strong songwriting skills – straight up. That makes touring difficult. It made this concert difficult – and dramatically uneven. Secondly, with every piece of Oasis present (minus Noel of course) it’s too easy to compare them to Oasis. The comparisons are inevitable, unavoidable, and part of the shadow they’re under – no matter what they name themselves. Lastly, without that true songwriter, and with so many pieces of Oasis onstage, they make it impossible to not miss Noel and the Oasis classic tunes. It doesn’t matter if you sided with Liam or Noel, or both. You miss them together. Liam has one of the classic voices of rock and roll. No one could sound more like Lennon other than Julian himself. But Liam’s vocal stylings simply wear you out because you’re so used to the beautiful exchange of lead he shared with his brother. Noel who would cast a far different flavor and he gave the crowd a break from Liam’s style. Liam’s greatest strength and his worst enemy isn’t his bravado or arrogance, nor his songwriting – its his voice.

There are simply some songs that Liam isn’t meant to sing when you know Liam and his personality. There are times when Liam needs to share this stage with another lead man and this was apparent on a cold, snowy night at a reasonably filled up First Avenue. Liam was unsmiling – but still very engaging, waving to the audience, and he even came down to the floor for some handshakes after the encore. However he’s a man in a band that is missing his brother, or some other counterpoint onstage for Liam to share an interlude with every 3rd or 4th song. As a lifetime Oasis fan, I’m used to Liam singing 3 or 4 songs, and taking a 10 minute break. I’m not saying I want them to play Oasis songs. I’m saying that Liam’s vocal style with one mediocre album of material is tough going. Noels’ lead vocals always made Liam’s return to the mic that much better and more powerful for years. Right now the songwriting from the Beady Eye debut album cannot carry Liam or Beady Eye through 90 minutes onstage. Bring in a female singer to help take the load off Liam – or something, but touring unwittingly as Oasis Lite is a tall ladder to climb and one that Beady Eye doesn’t have to climb. It’s like they’re missing something and it doesn’t have to be Noel. But maybe this is all my fault – I mean seriously, I spent 3 hours the night before watching Wilco in prime form and how do you possibly follow that up?!

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