[b]Liam Gallagher[/b] roams the stage like a man lounging at home in his bathrobe...
As [a]Travis[/a] begin their 45-minute set, singer Fran Healy wonders aloud, “Does anyone know what we’re called?”, and , From the rousing response within the venue, the answer appears to be yes. Then again, it’s half-empty venue, so not everyone in NYC does – yet. No matter. [a]Travis[/a] give New Yorkers a taste of something they’re not used to: candour, friendliness and gorgeous, sensitive songs (most of which came from The Man Who) that tug at the rustiest of heartstrings. A cover of The Band’s “The Weight” and a standing ovation means that by the end of the night, [a]Travis[/a] have successfully implanted themselves in the consciousness of Oasis fans in the Big Apple.
Oasis need no such introduction to be accepted here. Guitarist Gem Archer has come to Radio City with the right attitude, wearing a T-shirt that says “New York Fucking City”. After a pre-recorded “Fuckin’ in the Bushes” the band emerge, slipping into “Go Let It Out” while a film of New York scenes plays behind them. Towards the end of “Who Feels Love?” the film shows images of Strawberry Fields, the “Imagine” memorial and John Lennon himself. Just then, Liam Gallagher turns his back to the audience, looks up at Lennon‘s picture and holds his tambourine still above his head in silent homage to his hero.
It’s one of the few moments that Liam seems to be fazed by what’s going on around him. Otherwise, he roams the stage like a man lounging at home in his bathrobe, taking an interest in this, losing interest in that. When Noel sings (as on “Where Did It All Go Wrong?” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger”), Liam wanders offstage altogether, only to return nonchalantly when it’s his turn.
He dedicates “Cigarettes & Alcohol” to “all the people from England”, and then plays the party-pooper when, speaking of “Live Forever”, he says, “This is the last one, and we’re all going home.” Not according to Noel. The band return to do an amazing cover of Neil Young‘s “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)“, followed by The Beatles‘ “Helter Skelter”, which Noel – the wag – introduces as “When I’m 64”. The evening closes with the raucous “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”, whose verse Liam changes to “Tonight I’m a rock ‘n’ roll star/in New York City”. The song ended on its usual discordant barrage of notes – the perfect soundtrack for the concrete jungle.