Scenes From Last Night’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Show at The Majestic Theatre.
There is no doubt: Noel Gallagher is the coolest guy Noel Gallagher knows.
Such is his blessing. Such is his curse. Confidence is rewarded in our society, cockiness reviled and, for coming up on 25 years now, Gallagher’s worn a smirk while smugly toeing the line between these two traits — right there, right in the public eye, for all to enjoy or to sometimes to pretend not to. He’d be easy to hate — except, fuck, yeah, the motherfucker is cool. And not necessarily just because he’s the endlessly talented principal songwriter behind all those Oasis hits we each know and love.
He’s just wholly entertaining, at all times and especially these days when he’s taking to the press to alternately tease or laugh off the ever-present chatter surrounding any possible Oasis reunion. And, yes, even when he’s attempting (mostly in vain, let’s admit it) to promote his still-pretty-good, wholly self-controlled efforts with his just-this-side-of-side-project High Flying Birds group, too, as was his obligation to a mostly reverential crowd in Dallas last night.
The rock ‘n’ roll game comes easy for Gallagher, maybe too easy. He never really looks like he’s having to try, and he still plays the game better and with more aplomb than near anyone else could ever dream to. As such, he never really broke a sweat at last night’s showcase at the gorgeous Majestic Theatre in Downtown Dallas — but he also didn’t have to. He’s never quite been the singer his brother Liam’s been, but at this show his band still sounded remarkably tight, his new songs likely found new fans and his pop sensibilities were still right there for all to gawk at. It wasn’t a sleepwalk of a set, no; but it really could’ve been, as his presence alone might’ve been enough for some in this room.
Naturally, Gallagher knew this. And he had no trouble both acknowledging and exploiting it.
“I’m gonna play you some songs off my new album,” the always-phenomenal quote told his fans during an aside early in the night. “Frankly, that’s why I’m here.”
Well, mostly: He did also toss in a few Oasis covers over the course of his hour-and-45 onstage last night — “Fade Away,” “Champagne Supernova,” “Digsy’s Dinner,” “The Masterplan” and “Don’t Look Back In Anger” — which sounded great and earned the night’s biggest applause, because nostalgia. Alas, no “Wonderwall,” though. Boo? No, just what you’d expect from Gallagher, actually.
He didn’t need it in order to make this a memorable, enjoyable show. And big swinging dicks, endearing as they may sometimes be, are still, y”know, dicks.
This one, at least, is honest about it. This show, as he let everyone know up front, wasn’t meant to be about that other stuff.
“There are people in Japan who would buy my actual shit.”
Throwing shade at his brother Liam, who publicly disapproves of the saxophones on the new High Flying Birds album.
“There’s going to be some saxophone on this next track. Don’t be offended.”
On Americans being boring.
“What’s going on in Dallas these days? Anything interesting? Seems everywhere I go in America, I ask, ‘Is anything going on that’s interesting?’ ‘No.'”
To no one in particular, in response to nothing in particular, muttered under his breath but into the mic.
Replying to cries of “I love you!” from out in the crowd.
“Thank you very much. I love you, too. Obviously not in the same way.”
Bluntly, on why he was playing Dallas.
“Well, I was passing through.”
Before playing his song “The Mexican.”
“Do we have any Mexicans here? No, real ones.”
After flipping off a pair of fans taking a selfie with their backs to the stage, who would then catch on and turn around, embarrassed.
“Oh, don’t let me stop you.”
After telling fans to come see him the next time he’s in town.
“It will be a few years, I’ve got to be honest. What? It will be. I don’t see you coming to my town.”
On the awkwardness of celebrity in general.
“If you see me on the street and come up to me, I’ll be mean to you. It’s what I fucking do.”