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Toronto, Air Canada Centre, 20.03.2006 (Quelle:

Veteran British band teaches the Monkeys a few tricks

TORONTO - Passing the musical torch didn't quite happen last night at the Air Canada Centre.

But it was, at the very least, interesting to see England's band of the moment -- the Arctic Monkeys -- open for veteran Brit-pop act Oasis at a sold-out gig.

"Don't be shy," said engaging Artic Monkeys lead singer Alex Turner to the couple thousand of early concert-goers who arrived before Oasis took the stage.

Delivering a loud, fast musical assault, Turner -- joined by guitarist Jamie Cook, bassist Andy Nicholson and drummer Matt Helders -- raced through the songs from their debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, plus some new material.

But whenever a song veered from the Warp 7-like proceedings -- like funkier tunes Still Take You Home, Dancing Shoes, Fake Tales Of San Francisco, and A Certain Romance -- it was a welcome reprieve.

Their breakthrough single, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, packed a wallop even if Turner, who likes to get in the face of bass player Nicholson when he plays, seemed like he had a train to catch.

Let's put it this way: They played 10 songs in 35 minutes. Hopefully, their sold-out headlining gig at the Phoenix tonight will be a more sustained affair.

Otherwise, Oasis showed how the big boys do it by actually doing very little.

The Gallagher brothers -- singer Liam and guitarist Noel -- were their usual stoic selves.

Liam occasionally would shake his crescent-shaped tambourine, claps his hands or engage in stare-downs with the audience, but that was really as far as his stage moves went.

Noel, meanwhile, nicely got his guitar groove on Bring It On Down, Morning Glory, Cigarettes & Alcohol, Champagne Supernova and Supersonic and took over on lead vocals on The Importance Of Being Idle, The Masterplan, Mucky Fingers and Don't Look Back In Anger.

The band, rounded out by bassist Andy Bell, one-named guitarist Gem, drummer Zak Starkey (son of Ringo and the most animated man on stage) and an occasional pianist/organist, even stuck to the same first seven songs they played at the Molson Amphitheatre last June in support of their well-received latest album, Don't Believe TheTruth.

That included opening the 95-minute concert with the recording of F--kin' In The Bushes from 2000's Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants, which manages to generate excitement no matter how often you hear it.

Certainly the crowd couldn't get enough of their beloved Oasis, singing along to Lyla, the early hits Morning Glory, Cigarettes & Alcohol and Acquiesce, and the monster anthems Live Forever, Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, Supersonic and Don't Look Back In Anger.

The audience even liked the show-ending Who cover My Generation -- Starkey next goes back out on the road with Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend -- which saw Liam pull four young female fans on stage as the song wound down.

Ultimately, Oasis delivered a big-sounding concert on a stripped-down stage, notable mainly for tiny Christmas lights draped over the speakers and larger lights on the stage backdrop.

In the end, it was the songs themselves that were the stars of the night.

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