“You got jobs?” Noel Gallagher asks. “How can you have jobs if you’re high all the time? I’d be high all the time if I lived here.” Gallagher savored the herbal magic in the air during his recent tour with Garbage and Metric. The mind behind Oasis and High Flying Birds enjoyed the scents while delivering an exceptional performance during a recent stop in Los Angeles.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is currently on tour in support of their latest album, Council Skies. Since 2011, Gallagher has released a trilogy of albums under this name. While all of them are enjoyable, his latest work showcases a few A-grade tunes and finds the right balance between the present and the past. He doesn’t repeat himself or rely solely on his greatest hits but instead continues to deliver clever and playful rock tunes.
Gallagher isn’t interested in dwelling on nostalgia. When introducing a new song, he makes it loud and clear to the audience that they won’t be hearing “Supersonic,” despite the somewhat familiar intro in the latest track… The artist performed several songs from his new album, and as a whole, the audience responded with the same enthusiasm as Gallagher himself.
Gallagher is one of those seasoned artists who can say, “This is from our new album!” and you eagerly anticipate hearing it. The crowd effortlessly grooved to his new songs, including “Easy Now” and “We’re Going To Get There in the End.” It’s one of those rare concert experiences where you wish the artist had even more time to showcase their new stuff, like “Dead to the World” and an absolute banger cover of John Lennon’s “Mind Games.”
The second half of the set featured Oasis classics. Naturally, the crowd went wild. After a drink or two and a nice and easy CBD-THC edible, let me tell you, singing along with both the crowd and Gallagher to his signature closer, “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” is blissful. Nobody holds back, and nobody is embarrassed to sing their heart out, even if their voice is crappier than a bodega toilet on a bad summer day (raises hand).
As a devoted fan shouted when Gallagher performed a solo acoustic version of “Live Forever,” “FUCK YEAH!” The audience cheered and hollered in agreement. It was a knockout moment, with an artist’s soft voice and guitar casting a spell on the packed crowd. Fuck yeah indeed. The same can be said for his rendition of “The Masterplan.”
What’s particularly enjoyable about watching Gallagher and his talented band perform together is his curmudgeonly persona, or whatever you want to call it, juxtaposed with a set filled with beauty and fun. You can always count on Noel to deliver a hilarious concert; his jokes are met with laughter, not crickets. He plays up his image, and at one point, even jokes about losing his train of thought during a song… because he was wondering what he’ll eat after the show.
Perhaps he caught a contact high during the performance.
At one point, a fan paid Noel a lovely compliment. Unfortunately, it was inaudible. Whatever was said, Noel graciously thanked them and dedicated “Live Forever” to them. The ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s babies held onto their significant others and swayed to the music. It was a bit surprising: A Noel Gallagher show can be romantic. Couples danced and kissed, enjoying the summer moon and cool breeze.
Gallagher left the stage on a high note (no pun intended). When Garbage took the stage next, they kept the party going. If you’re looking for a badass lead singer, look no further than Shirley Manson, who was determined to redeem herself. To clarify, she felt terrible about her previous performance at the Greek in Los Angeles, where she ended up in tears. For various reasons, it wasn’t the kind of performance she wanted to deliver.
Consider Garbage redeemed—although they are the last rock band on the planet in need of redemption, as they consistently deliver kick-ass shows. Manson and the band simply dominate the stage. There’s an incredible energy to a Garbage performance. Every move by the frontwoman, not to mention every note, is both artistic and effortless. She’s like a bolt of lightning bouncing around the stage. Alongside Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig, Manson delivered an especially killer cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Cities in Ashes.”
During the intervals between songs, much like Gallagher, you hang on to Manson’s words. Due to time constraints, she kept her remarks brief and sweet. When she did speak, she wanted to sing to those who were unfairly judged. “There are all kinds of things that happen in life that we may not necessarily have experienced,” Manson said, “but it’s important to remember that everyone is going through their own struggles. Everyone deserves our understanding. We live in a time where we are all a bit judgmental, pointing fingers, and getting worked up over the most ridiculous things. So, this next song is dedicated to the LGBTQ community tonight.”
After Metric and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, time was somewhat limited for Garbage. Like Gallagher’s band, Garbage was on stage for about an hour. They left you wanting more, but sometimes that desire or yearning for more after a show isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s like wanting to indulge in more ice cream for a good reason—it’s just that good.