As Noel Gallagher himself pointed out towards the end of the opening night of this three-date lad-rock event of the decade, it’s insane that gigs of this size run off clunky, smoking old generators.
Even more surprisingly, enormo-show glitches aren’t entirely unknown in this city – the Gallaghers’ last run at Manchester’s Eastlands Stadium was stopped in 2005 due to a barrier collapse and Arctic Monkeys were beset by similar sound issues at Old Trafford in 2007.
When last night’s Heaton Park show cut out for the second time (during a glitchy ‘Lyla’), the mood quickly darkened among the 70,000 fans. Boos rained down on the stage. The sky was awash with bodily fluids. The security looked decidedly nervous.
And The Rev, fresh from his last minute support slot? He was worriedly leading his disciples – The Makers, The Rascals, his parents – to the sanctuary of the backstage. “This is gonna get ugly,” he prophesised, motioning to the crush building on a nearby barrier.
Thankfully, his Nostradamus predictions proved wrong for once and after 40 minutes, the problems sorted, Liam and co returned in triumphant mood.
Frankly, only a band with as much raw rock’n’roll power as Oasis could recover after such a horror start and ver classics – ‘Wonderwall’, ‘Slide Away’, ‘Roll With It’ – soon had Manchester in raptures. Most bands would be crushed by such an embarrassing fuck up, but then this lot have never been most bands. Just to underline the jubilant mood, Liam even managed a few quips.
“I remember coming here at as a kid to watch the Pope,” he grinned at one point. “He was alright, but he didn’t have any tunes.”
He later laid into a local newspaper journalist for daring to suggest in her latest column the gig shouldn’t have gone ahead in the first place.
In fact, the Pretty Green label boss was in better spirits than this writer has seen onstage in years – where Noel was grumbling about a “farce”, his brother was still voicing his confidence of bettering Knebworth.
“We’re still gonna give it a real fucking go,” he roared before a triumphant ‘My Big Mouth’. And you know what? Even after the fuck ups, you still wouldn’t bet against them bettering their seminal moment on tonight’s (eventual) form.
Roll on Saturday – and please, get the number of a decent electrician, lads.
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