Oasis kicked off their US tour in Seattle last night with a stirring tribute to Kurt Cobain on the sixth anniversary of the singer’s death.
The band, playing the city’s Paramount Theatre, performed a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)’ – the song famously quoted by Cobain in his suicide note – as an encore to a rousing reception from a capacity crowd in the Nirvana singer’s former hometown.
Noel Gallagher was enthusiastically cheered by the crowd as he matter-of-factly introduced the song with the words: “We’d like to dedicate this to Kurt Cobain who died six years ago today.” And a large section of the audience sang along with him when he reached the “It’s better to burn out than to fade away” line which Cobain wrote in the scrawled note police found next to his body in April 1994. This opening night of the month-long US leg of the ‘Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants’ world tour was Oasis’ sixth appearance in Seattle in as many years and the third time they have launched a US tour from here.
The concert heralded the US headlining debuts of ex-Ride/Hurricane #1 bassist Andy Bell and guitarist Gem Archer in the ranks and brought a far more up-tempo, rock-influenced set than on previous visits, including an electric version of the normally acoustic ‘Wonderwall’.
The 13-song set was preceded by the instrumental ‘Fuckin’ In The Bushes’ which was accompanied by a 15-minute film shot in New York (concluding at Central Park’s Strawberry Fields John Lennon Memorial) which was used as a backdrop for the two opening songs ‘Go Let It Out’ and ‘Who Feels Love’.
With the exception of the Cobain dedication, neither Gallagher brother spoke more than a couple of words to the crowd all night, save for the odd “thanks” and “cheers”.
At one point Noel did tetchily respond to one (inaudible) audience request by exclaiming: “Fucking hell, can you not go anywhere without hearing that stupid song?”
While the film, more rocking nature of their set and no nonsense attitude seems to suggest Oasis have finally made some concessions to making it in America, support band Travis look like they’re well on their way already.
Although they were on stage shortly after the doors opened and singer Fran Healy suffered some guitar problems, the quartet – whose first US LP ‘The Man Who’ is released next week and has already won rave reviews and a lot of airplay – were treated to the kind of reception normally reserved for headliners.