"It's not about you. It's not about me. It's not about Oasis--it's about the music... It's about the songs." That was from the infamous "Wibbling Rivalry" NME interview from over 10 years ago, and Noel's philosophy seems to still hold.
Last night the band came to the Target Center, the first time they've played here since 2001. Those songs are now more important to me and my life than they ever were before--then they were the three times I went along with my dad before last night. He was the big fan--I just wanted to see what Liam would do, for spectacle's sake, really.
So last night's show was really something special. Not that they're a great live band or anything like that. They really aren't exactly *passionate* musicians. But, Liam still seems like an angry, drunken man and Noel is cool and calm and stationary while he churns out incendiary guitar riffs and solos *meant* to reach thousands of people in a field. SO, a meager showing on a cold December night in Minneapolis maybe made them a bit more cranky than usual…Noel really did utter some mean, funny things about us living here in the frozen tundra. Like, "You are aware there's a place called California, right?" Fuck off, man. When you were seeing bands at little joints in Manchester, what would you have thought of a pompous rocker like yerself? Eh, mate? Ha. I love that fucker. Writes a mean rock song and says what he thinks. Just like a rocker should. Right on, man.
What still gets me, what I still can't really believe, is how the bros interact--er--I mean, *don't* interact AT ALL on stage. It's like the other one isn’t even there. They never acknowledge each other and they never even look at each other. But they are *right there* for each other when it comes to making the songs sound good. Noel fills in vocal gaps for Liam when he can't sustain a note (which is often) and Liam gives each song he sings that stamp of arrogance, angst and punk rock battiness that Noel still loves his band to have. For me, the greatest moments came when Noel sang lead on his own stellar songs. I love that man's voice and he couldn’t be more insecure about it. He thinks it's weak or some such shit. My comrades who joined me last night (Alicia, sugar doll, she is, Fitzy and my dad) also seemed to think that Noel was the one that stole the show, too, even though it's Liam out front and center, surrounded by his four (!?) monitors lifting his neck and sneering into the microphone, like a posturing teenager. Noel has the sweetest, most naturally melodic voice of rock, for me.
When he launched into "The Importance of Being Idle," I was transported to all the times I played that song when it rained, or when I was taking a walk, or meditating on life. For some reason, it took me by surprise, and it kept happening with all of the songs he sang lead on. That's when I realized that last night was the first time I saw Oasis and it *really* meant something to me. It affected me like my truly favorite music does. I think the Stone Roses made me understand Oasis in a new way. As resiststant as I used to be to likeing these pompus, Beatles-obsesses, stealers of riffs, lads from Manchester--I gotta admit the truth: they are one of my faves. Without them, there might not be any Arctic Monkeys, after all….