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New York, Radio City Music Hall, 07.06.2001 (Quelle: dotmusic.com)

It seems that lately the best way to meet your expectations with Oasis has been to not expect much. But that's all changed now.

Tonight is the first of three shows the band is co-headlining along with the Black Crowes at Radio City Music Hall, and by the time the Gallaghers and company have stormed through 'Go Let It Out' and dived into 'Columbia', it's obvious that something is different. Or, even better, the same - the same as it used to be, back in the '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?' days.

The attitude, the stage presence, the sound - it's all back, and better than ever. The only difference is, with the new line-up, now they're all rock stars, every one. Of course, Alan White isn't with them tonight, or at all recently, due to his thumb injury, but his brother Steve (Paul Weller's long-serving sticksman) does a fantastic job of filling in, which is extremely appropriate. This is the 'Tour of Brotherly Love', after all.

Also appropriately, there is no bickering on stage tonight, and all the energy and confrontation is instead directed out where it belongs: into the crowd. When they move on to 'Morning Glory' it's stunningly clear that Liam's voice has somehow reverted to peak form, with no sign of those dreaded nasal tones, or anything else other than perfectly struck, emotionally resonant notes.

If you don't believe it, just pay attention as they play. Even to the most skeptical amongst us, it's undeniable that somehow, someway, once again Oasis are the most Rock and Roll band on the face of the Earth.

Noel and Gem will be brought back out later in the evening, to join the Black Crowes for an energetic cover of the Stooges' 'Down On The Street' but, like the Crowes' entire set, it seems almost an afterthought. This is Oasis' show, despite the bill, despite who went on first.

The last time they played Radio City, which was only last year, they were far less impressive. For one thing, the line-up was too new. For another, they focused on the newer, weaker material. Now, they're tight as f**k, with Gem as able to carry the songs or the multiple extended jams they indulge in as well as Noel can. And, in addition, they're playing On tour that made them great.

'Acquiesce', 'Cigarettes and Alcohol', 'Fade Away' and 'Champagne Supernova' are all let loose on the crowd, with a minimum of talk from the stage (although Liam does dedicate one song to the "crackheads" in the house), and full attention on On tour.

At one point Liam throws a towel around his neck and saunters to the front of the stage. It gives him the look of a prizefighter before his match, glaring out defiantly, ready to take on any and all comers. This is the Liam we used to know. This is the Oasis we'd all forgotten.

Let's welcome them back.

Douglas Brett

New York, Radio City Music Hall, 07.06.2001 (Quelle: dotmusic.com)


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