Photos by Lisa Mark
In what I hope is the start of a beautiful friendship, Noel Gallagher released his third album, Who Built the Moon?, produced by David Homes. The album is the farthest from anything to do with his Oasis days but the partnership with Holmes has resulted in what I think is Gallagher’s most enjoyable album since the 90s and was one of my favourite albums of 2017.
Gallagher brought his High Flying Birds to a packed Sony Centre on an unseasonably warm February night in Toronto. With no opener, Gallagher took to the stage early at 8:15.
Opening with “Fort Knox” the bombastic opener of Who Built the Moon?, the very full band performed in front of a curtain backdrop that displayed some trippy visuals for the hour and 40 minute duration. From there it was a handful of new tracks including the polarizing single “Holy Mountain” That I felt should have driven the place wild. The band would play almost the entire album with a few helping from each of his first two post-Oasis albums. Highlights were the entire Moon album although the lowlight was not playing my favourite track from it.
Gallagher himself was a bit quieter than usual but did cause some laughs with this bite when he did. The sound was unusually quiet for a Gallagher gig – the volume seemed low at the start and never really recovered from there. But Gallagher and band sounded great and they looked great and like they were having fun up there, possibly being infected by the new album’s bouncy vibe.
For those wanting Oasis, Gallagher delivered just over a handful of Oasis tracks including classics “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back In Anger” along with “Little By Little” and “Go Let It Out” among others which turned the place into a giant singalong each time.
So at the very un-rock-n-roll hour of 10pm, we were out on the streets again and this geezer was thankful , not only to get into bed at a decent hour, but that I also got to enjoy a solid feast for my eyes and ears. Gallagher may not play to the same size rooms he used to over here, but he definitely deserves to be as his High Flying Birds material is definitely worthy of them.