Review: Noel Gallagher at the Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI – May 30, 2015
Published by JB on May 31, 2015
Chasing yesterday’s Rock and Roll Star!
Never one to hide in the corner, Noel Gallagher takes another further leap away from his Oasis days with a collection of tuneful rock and roll bliss culled from his infinitely fine two solo efforts; 2012’s self-titled Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and this year’s stellar Chasing Yesterday.
A tour that is 75% solo work and 25% early-90’s Oasis transcends Gallagher like a Billboard 200 bullet into the waiting room for the Rock and Roll hall of fame. His 2012 and 2015 tours have reminded us why, for that brief time, Oasis nearly ruled the world – and how the lifeblood of that incredible early 90’s run was all about Noel. In 2015 it’s once again cool to admit that the first three Oasis albums (which includes Masterplan) were three of the greatest, consecutive rock releases ever. But that magic faded away by 1997 and ten years later Oasis drank, inhaled and limped their way into early retirement. Their footing in the UK had slipped and their tiny thumbprint on the slippery top 40 US music culture had long been rubbed away. Times have now changed.
There’s no more top 40 in Noel Gallagher’s future but right now, who cares. Gallagher carries the rock and roll torch the highest of his peers; along with other seminal acts such as Jack White, Jeff Tweedy, Spoon, Dave Grohl and a few more. Onstage with a band that merely lies in Noel’s shadows, Gallagher belts out his songs with a magnetic voice that carries the weight after 90 minutes far better than that of his brother Liam. So exhausting is this solo tour effort that Noel is guilty of blasphemy when he hands over the guitar solo of ‘Champaign Supernova’ to his tour mate. Can you imagine the guitar solo to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ being played by a roadie? Or Wendy playing the solo to ‘Purple Rain’?
But that’s how life is in 2015 for Noel Gallagher and it all works out at the end. Twenty tracks played at a blistering pace with Noel at his smart-ass best working over those lucky few in the crowd that grab his attention. He’s like a sniper in between songs. Who to pick on next? Meanwhile, Gallagher is delivering new work (‘Riverman’, ‘The Dying of the Light’) that stands tall with the best of Oasis from 1993. In a live setting, those tracks reverberate at the packed Pabst Theater. The man is becoming a must-see and his generation’s most relevant remaining rock and roll star.