In a 2013 Q&A with Rolling Stone, Noel Galagher - unquestionably music's most refined interviewee - had this to say about the possibility of an Oasis reunion:
"If you've seen [Oasis], then good for you. If you didn't, then that's f***ing tough sh**. I've never seen the Beatles. So there you go."
How eloquent. With that, I've always estimated my chances of seeing an Oasis show to be about as likely as the South African prince who keeps barraging my spam mail getting around to wiring me that $40 million. Noel Galagher's High Flying Birds' May 10 show at the Civic Theater may have been the next best thing…hell, it was probably better.
Galagher's two solo albums - 2011's outstanding eponymous LP and 2015's equally-engaging Chasing Yesterday are as catchy and memorable as anything Oasis put out in their '90s heyday and comprised the bulk of the set. The remainder consisted of a selection of rarities from Oasis' 1998 B-side collection The Masterplan mixed in with a few other classics. An unexpected performance of "Champagne Supernova" mid-show alone was worth the price of admission.
Though the show was far from sold out, I have never experienced so much energy and anticipation from an audience. Prior to the encore, the crowd on the ground floor was stomping its feet with such force for the show to go on you could feel the quake from the upper levels. When the band closed with "Don't Look in Anger," Noel let the crowd pick up the weight for the chorus: I have no doubt passerbys on the street could hear the revelry.
Was it the best show I've ever been to? That's a tough call. I can say it's the happiest I've been to be at a show I never thought I'd see. In many ways, this was preferable to an Oasis reunion: not only did I get to hear Noel's new music, but if this were an Oasis tour the two Galagher's would have probably maimed each other in mortal combat before finishing the final act.