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Live Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Manchester Arena, 04/05/2018

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Noel’s performance in his hometown brought out fans of old and new, coming together to enjoy the mix of Oasis classics and more recent, experimental material.  

Opening with the thunderous ‘Fort Knox’, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds erupted into action accompanied by lively visuals illuminating the venue. Keen to get into more of his new material, Noel continued the set with ‘Holy Mountain’ and ‘Keep on Reaching’.

The standing fans stretched all the way to the back of the venue, dancing and singing along to Noel’s recent releases as if they were introduced years ago. Those who had seating tickets found themselves up and active right from the off, resulting in a memorable night at the Manchester Arena.

‘It’s a Beautiful World’ brought about a warm atmosphere in the arena, though this quickly broke into sheer animation when the band delivered ‘In the Heat of the Moment’ and ‘Riverman’, both from the their 2015 album Chasing Yesterday. Continuing to back-track through his post-Oasis portfolio, Noel performed ‘If I Had a Gun…’ and ‘Dream On’, from the band’s self-titled debut from 2011.

It was at this point that Noel first gave the crowd the interaction they were hungry for, “This is usually the part where I ask the crowd ‘How’s your shit football team doing then!?’, but I don’t have to do that here.”. Playing on the famous football rivalry in the city, Noel encouraged the deafening jeers and cheers from United and City fans alike. He followed with, “This is also usually the part where I’d ask if there any Oasis fans in the house…but I can tell by your haircuts that there are.”

Met with a humungous roar from the excitable crowd, Noel kicked off renditions of ‘Little by Little’ and ‘The Importance of Being Idle’, written and sung by him in his Oasis days. After just a brief trip down memory lane, the High Flying Birds went back into their new material, treating fans to exceptional performances of ‘If Love is the Law’, ‘Dead in the Water’, ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ and ‘She Taught Me How to Fly’.

Sensing that fans would be craving more of his older material, Noel added ‘Half the World Away’ to his setlist, as well as ‘Wonderwall’, which he put his own twist on to diverge from the original. After closing the set with ‘AKA…What a Life!’, the band delivered a real variety of tracks for the four-song encore, including ‘Go Let it Out’ and a cover of The Beatles’ ‘All You Need is Love’. The gig culminated in an endearing performance of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’, which received the biggest reception of the night, as the arena filled with passionate fans recalling the lyrics back to Noel.

Gallagher exercised his 20 plus years of experience to his advantage, delivering a professional and entertaining performance, treating fans to his modern, experimental work as well as rewarding years of loyalty with some timeless Oasis classics.

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