NOEL GALLAGHER !
In 1994 the then new British band Oasis released the song Live Forever as a single. I think it was their first top 10 hit in the UK and it didn’t even reach the German charts. But I loved that song from the start and I still love it as much 22 years later. You know these kind of songs that find their way into your very personal Hall of Fame? This – for me – is one of them.
While I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard fan who owns every album and knows the words to every song, I’ve always followed their career and love many of their songs. Never saw them live, though.
Then Oasis were done because the Gallagher brothers basically hate each other (at least publicly) and millions of fans cried. It’s even today that many of them are hoping for a reuinion. I personally think that’s as much not going to happen as a reuinion of ABBA 😉
And who needs a renuion when the best songwriter of the band, Noel Gallagher (older brother of Liam, the enfant terrible) (not that Noel was a saint) keeps writing songs and is having a rather successful career with his band the High Flying Birds.
By now he has two solo albums out and is touring more or less regularly. It was in March 2015, I think, that the tour stopped in Düsseldorf. I soooooooooooo wanted to go but S didn’t feel like it at all… she was under a lot of stress at that time and there were also quite some Lee dates we wanted to attend. I was actually really thinking about going alone. Never been to a concert on my own but I wanted to so SO badly… and then I decided to stay home. Which I’ve regretted afterwards, to be honest.
Then, while being on tour with Bobby last October, I remember that we were waiting outside the Bunker Ulmenwall in Bielefeld to get inside, when I got a message from Eventim, that Noel would be back in Germany in April 2016. I asked S if it was okay to order tickets this time and if she’d come with me. She said yes and so I ordered tickets with the iPhone right then and there.
Skip to April 2016 and due to S’s condition I wasn’t even sure if it was a good idea to go. I asked her. Said it was okay if she didn’t want to and I would try to sell the tickets. But she wanted to go.
I had read about the venue – the Palladium – before. Some people are complaining about the stage being so low, that’s why those who stand in the back don’t see much. There’s also two balconys but it was recommended that you be there early so that you stand at the railing in order to have a good view.
I didn’t want to drive to Cologne all TOO early becasue I was sure, S wouldn’t want to stand in line for hours, but also not too late so that we would maybe have a chance for a good spot on the balcony. There was no way we’d stand general admission in the middle of a crowd. The show was sold out and I was sure it would be PACKED.
We arrived around 17:00h and there was already a line but it wasn’t TOO long. Considering that most people go for a spot close to the stage, I was hoping for a good spot on the balcony.
Right opposite of the Palladium is the E-Werk, another well-known location in Cologne. We saw some shows there too in the past (the last one -Jack White – was already in 2012 I think). It’s a cool location too… and a very beautiful old building.
The Palladium isn’t even half as nice and not worth taking a photo of 😉
So they opened the doors at 18:30h sharp and to our delight we found a GREAT spot on the balcony… as close to the stage as it can get. It didn’t fill up too much up there either, and so there was no pushing and shoving. There was also a bar up there, so all was good.
At 20:00h sharp the lights went out and The Augustines, an alternative rock band from New York came onstage and played their 30 minute set. Gotta say that I’ve seen much worse!! . On their website you can listen to their newest song.
When they left, the Gallagher crew guys swarmed the stage to prepare it for the main act. And at 21:00h sharp the lights went out again. Yes, everything here today was PERFECTLY ON TIME. (We’re not at a Madonna show after all, right? I appreciate when artists don’t mess with their fans’ time.)
So here was Noel and the whole place went wild! All these people down there knew every single word to every single song and were singing along and it was the most awesome thing!
Noel is not a showman. He and his musicians are on stage, playing their music, but there’s no typical frontman attitude. He’s constantly playing guitar… he’s also not that big of a talker (although he does every now and then in between songs), but it’s basically musicians playing their songs. Which may sound boring but wasn’t boring AT ALL. You don’t need crazy show effects and someone who works the stage like a marathon man to deliver a brillant show.
The sound was excellent, so was the light show. The setlist was a great mix of Noel’s solo songs and Oasis classics. I had goose bumps more than once. It was such a wonderful evening. A perfect combination of great music played by great musicians, a very cool venue, an audience that was in it from the first to the last second, and a great place to view it all without having the stress of standing in a big crowd.
Here’s one video – Don’t Look Back In Anger – one of Oasis’ biggest hits, if not THE biggest. Might not be perfect since it’s a bit shaky sometimes (I had a hard time to stand still and not singing along at the top of my lungs… and that guy next to me got carried away at times, stretching his arms out and blocked the view) but it is a perfect example of what a GREAT athmosphere it was. And of course I love the song!!
A WONDERFUL time was had by all! Got myself a t-shirt, of course, and then it was slowly time to leave.
Here are some more photos
From Noel’s Twitter account this following pic was posted. And there you can see the girls up there, right where I’ve put the yellow arrow in 🙂