Noel Gallagher so lovingly posted a note on the OasisNet.com website yesterday that made its way around the city the day of their Target Center show, aptly titled "News From The Middle of Nowhere." My personal favorite quote from this entry was this:
We're on the way to Minneapolis. I'm expecting endless boredom.
Well, we can't wait to have you here, either, Sir Noel. Did you notice the attendance, by the way?
Opener Matt Costa was much nicer from the get-go, however. Sparsely accompanied by two guitars, his set was in no way suited for an arena show, but held its own as if a coffee shop had been briefly constructed on stage for his 23-minute set. The evening's crowds had barely started to roll in as he started his set at 7 p.m., but he still managed to have the folks that were already there wrapped around his finger understatedly.
The transition from Costa to Ryan Adams literally took three minutes. I've yet to see turnaround like that anywhere. Adams and The Cardinals worked from a set list almost entirely comprised of tracks from their last two albums, Cardinology and Easy Tiger. The only Adams standards that they played were "When The Stars Go Blue" and "Let It Ride," with it's gorgeous build, off of 2005's Cold Roses. The warmth and crisp production on those two records were, however, re-imagined into thumping rock and roll arena tracks last night, blasting through the speakers and attendee's eardrums. The set itself ended on an intense note, with the Cardinology track "Magick."
This set was integral in renewing my own personal love affair with Ryan Adams that has waivered more than slightly in the past years. However, his set could have greatly benefitted from selecting some of his perfect, older songs from that gigantic Ryan Adams catalog he has. Also, that tight-lipped, barely talking to the crowd jive that the Twin Cities also saw when Adams played the Cedar last year needs to stop. It's just plain ridiculous to go from talking incessantly to barely speaking at all. If only there was a balance.
Photo by Steve Cohen
All bitchy Gallagher-journaling aside, Oasis took the stage with the appropriate set-opener of "Rock and Roll Star," and they held on to that esteem into the rollicking foot-stomper "Lyla." As a whole the set ebbed and flowed through hits and misses, as it would amp up for a time and then come back down with tracks from this year's Dig Out Your Soul. While their eighth drummer pounded away fiercely for the entirety of the set, The Brothers Gallagher would stand coolly onstage, Noel the seemingly-effortless guitar man and Liam the immovable front man/singer. If one was taking a tally of his moves, the count would come in around four: stand in place and leer at crowd, maybe a rock back and forth here and there, shuffling of feet and an unorthodox one that involved holding the tambourine in his mouth. One real complaint is that he has the tendency to move away from the microphone before he's done singing. Irritating details aside, there was a fair amount of tracks that inspired. "Cigarettes and Alcohol" was a real crowd pleaser, and there was no denying its major T-Rex influence as it swam in the guitar; and the girls clutched their hearts while the crowd sang along to "Wonderwall."
The first song of their encore was a thoroughly underwhelming acoustic version of the usually rousing "Don't Look Back in Anger." For the sake of argument, Oasis played "Wonderwall," they played "Champagne Supernova" -- why turn one of your most perfect anthems into a lukewarm acoustic number? In all fairness, the crowd in attendance seemed genuinely responsive despite this fact, and also in the department of Oasis radio hits. Isn't it mildly perplexing that a band with so many great songs would end with "I Am The Walrus?" Then again, everybody's got their heroes, and after Oasis has spent their career taking detailed notes from theirs.