Monday, February 05, 2007

Here You Are Now, Entertain Us.

I've been to a lot of concerts in my life, but was reminded of one in particular tonight. While watching Heroes (so awesome), during a commercial break I flipped to an HD channel called "Rave" that shows concerts with bands I typically like. Oasis was playing, and I caught the back end of "Wonderwall," one of my favorite Oasis songs, after which Liam Gallagher informed the audience they could go fuck themselves. I wasn't surprised, though.

I saw Oasis in 1997 (perhaps 1998) for free. A friend of mine had won concert tickets to see them at the Ariel Theater in Houston (I'm not sure what it's called now). Although I loved Oasis (and still do) that went down in history as the single most unpleasant concert experience of my life. The room was jam-packed of not drunk, but completely hammered Brits chanting raucous soccer chants back and forth, slinging beer every which way and acting like complete assholes. Usually during concerts when you're near the front there is a lot of pushing - most of these people were so wasted they made no attempt to resist the pushing. So I enjoyed the feeling of stank, incoherent idiots falling all over me all night, yelling the lyrics to the songs so loud that I could barely hear the band. Now, it's not like I'm dissing everyone who sings along at a concert - it happens all the time and sometimes it's kind of cool to see that many people singing in unison - but it's COMPLETELY different when you're talking about a 250-lb Brit with a gut and two beers in his hand yelling (not singing) "YEAH MAYBE YOU'RE GONNA BE THE ONE WHO SAVES ME!!!" Multiply that by a thousand or so to fill the capacity of the room.

But that was just the appetizer. The main course was a band that clearly didn't give a rat's ass what you thought about them or their attitude toward the performance. Noel Gallagher is the only member of the band that seemed to possess even a shred of dignity about the affair. Liam is just flat-out obnoxious. Don't feel like singing any more? Eh, just raise your middle finger, walk off the stage, and let your brother finish that song. It's cool. I remember the last song before the encore was "Champagne Supernova," and before starting it up, Liam came up to the mic and with a cocky grin on his face, and while shaking his hands back and forth "tah-dah!"-style, said "this one's Champagne Supernova," with a real "screw you" sort of accent, and then wandered over to Noel while he strummed the opening chords with a look like "they can't possibly be paying me enough to endure this rubbish."

At the same time, though, I was thinking hey - maybe this is just part of the act. Marilyn Manson is an extremely smart, well-read, eloquent guy that puts on a big spectacle to get a rise out of people. And part of almost any rock show is the "spectacle." Maybe Oasis are masters of the act, and I'm just blinded by the efficiency with which they can act totally indifferent during a massive rock show?

Or maybe they're just assholes.

P.S. Please come out with a new album soon - you guys rule! I won't be seeing you live, though.


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