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Live Review: Liam Gallagher – 6th June 2024 – O2 Arena, London, UK

5 min read
Live Review: Liam Gallagher - 6th June 2024 - O2 Arena, London, UK

North Greenwich was drenched in 90’s nostalgia on Thursday night with the arrival of Britpop icon Liam Gallagher for the first of four sold out O2 Arena shows. However, these aren’t just any Liam Gallagher shows – they are a celebration of Oasis’ first album, Definitely Maybe – a record that introduced the world to the superstar and his brother Noel and helped to shape what would become a phenomenal career for the angsty Manchester outfit and one that was promised up in its entirety for these special performances around the UK,

For the fan of any musical artist, it is a dream to have the opportunity to witness such a record being performed in its entirety so the announcement of Liam doing these shows was understandably met with an eager response to his followers and so it was no surprise that by the time we arrived at the venue, the crowd was already panic-attack inducingly packed to rafters with lads belting back the Britpop classics that were providing a pre-performance warm-up and spilling beers over their just-purchased £35 Liam Gallagher t-shirts as the drunkenly crowd counted down the years, one by one with a massive screen on stage which was counting down to 1994 – the year Definitely Maybe was birthed.

With the stage dressed in various props as a nod to that historical record such as two giant birds, an enormous inflatable globe which was perched centre-stage and other bits and pieces to add to the nostalgia of the night, the band came on promptly at 9pm to launch into a storming version of Rock ‘n’ Roll Star; clips of Liam from back in the day gracing the screens which, throughout the night, served as a perfect backdrop as it cast creative imagery of the superstar and his former DM comrades.

Throwing frequent annoyed gestures to a sound engineer in a box to the right of the stage due to feeling cold during several songs including a punchy performance of Shakermaker, the night was never going to go without some sort of blunt, expletive fueled ‘moment’ from a Britpop icon that is as famous for his contribution to music as he is for his sharp tongue and irritable disposition. I mean, who knew you could have all the wealth in the world and a legacy to challenge most and still be that grumpy? You couldn’t help but wonder whether these antics were more of a put-on display for fans who comes to expect this type of behavior from both Brothers Gallagher. After a meaty offering of Digsy’s Dinner, which made the whole audience craving lasagna, a quip of “it’s like were living in f***ing Antarctica” saw resolution to that issue and things were back on track for the now content musician who stormed through Bring It On Down and album bonus track, Cloudburst – a Live Forever B-side surprise for the die-hard Oasis fans craving some deep cuts.

The last 30 years has seen the Oasis world filled with sibling rivalry and resentment, so much so that the Gallagher brothers no longer speak, however a touching moment came ahead of his performance of Half The World Away and a tribute to “one of the greatest songwriters ever”; a nod to Noel which was felt by the sea of fans that packed the sold out O2 arena – even if it was follower up by a quick “Burt Bacharach” – an attempt by the hard Manc to not push his fans into sentimental waters. Though a fan next to me mentioned that this might have been a dig at Noel, given the song has links to Bacharach’s This Guy’s in Love with You; further backed up by a picture of the composer sitting on stage behind Gallagher. Given Liam also included Noel Gallagher and His High Flying Birds number, Lock All The Doors, the jury seems a little hung. Half The World Away – as well as his offering of (It’s Good) To Be Free further into the set – carried a more orchestral feel to them thanks to the welcoming of 3 violinists that were subtlety positioned on stage to season the songs with some gorgeous strings and had phones with light help in the air and fans quickly pressing record to capture the moments.

“Any space cadets in the house?” Liam would ask before delicately trapsing through a laid back, acoustic guitar and piano driven rendition of D’Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman? Before paying tribute to his older fans by declaring “this one is for all the old cunts” as he drove through the steely Cigarettes & Alcohol B-side, Fade Away.

It was the BIG Oasis tracks from the Oasis debut that got the crowd really worked into a state of drunken frenzy with Cigarettes & Alcohol causing the sea of transfixed floor standing punters into a swaying moshpit; full plastic cups of beer being cast by many into the air, only to splash down on to an unexpected fan.

An encore of Supersonic, Slide Away and Live Forever proved to be the highlight moment of the show with the trio of hits showcasing not just the songwriting genius that is Noel Gallagher, but the effortless ability for brother Liam to perform each with such masterful precision and care before a not-s-surprising cover of The Beatles, I Am the Walrus closed the set and fans ventured home with alcohol and sweat drench t-shirts and hoodies, vape-filled lungs and a heart filled with nostalgic joy thanks to a truly spectacular and memorable journey back to the good old days of 1994!

Setlist:
Rock ‘n’ Roll Star
Columbia
Shakermaker
Up in the Sky
Digsy’s Dinner
Bring It On Down
Cloudburst
I Will Believe
Half the World Away
D’Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?
Fade Away
Lock All the Doors (Noel Gallagher and His High Flying Birds cover)
(It’s Good) To Be Free
Whatever
Cigarettes & Alcohol
Married With Children

Encore:
Supersonic
Slide Away
Live Forever

Encore 2:
I Am the Walrus (The Beatles cover)

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