Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

The Pearl, April 20

There are always going to be fans who won’t let Noel Gallagher put Oasis behind him. That was evident by the numerous song requests shouted out throughout the 90-minute show, many coming from a raucous group of Englishmen near the front of the stage.

But while Gallagher is clearly moving forward with his High Flying Birds, he hasn’t completely abandoned the past. Nearly half of the 20-song set consisted of Oasis tunes, although there was no “Wonderwall” or “Champagne Supernova.” Instead, Gallagher opened with two lesser-known Oasis tracks, “(It’s Good) to Be Free” and “Mucky Fingers,” before delving into his new material.

Without bratty brother and Oasis frontman Liam to tackle vocal duties, Noel proved quite capable of handling things himself. The five-piece band played nearly every song from the High Flying Birds’ debut album, and songs such as “If I Had a Gun …” and “(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine” were flush with the Beatle-esque, melodic hooks that define much of Oasis’ catalog.

For the four-song encore, Gallagher turned entirely to his former band’s catalog, starting with 1994 single “Whatever” and ending with worldwide hit “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Touring behind his strongest array of songs since Oasis’ 1995 seminal (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, Gallagher showed he’ll be fine on his own. ★★★★☆

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