Last Night: Oasis, Ryan Adams, Matt Costa at the Staples Center

Last Night: Oasis, Ryan Adams N The Cardinals, Matt Costa at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, Dec. 4th, 2008.

Better Than: Fighting with your brother.

Download: New single “I'm Outta Time” from the album Dig Out Your Soul at the Oasis MySpace.

Anglophiles filled the Staples Center Thursday to watch '90s icons Oasis show why they still–13 years after “Wonderwall”–are the flag bearers of British rock. The band's touring in support of latest release Dig Out Your Soul, an album that holds up well against their classic material.

Oasis has to be the only band in the world that can stand nearly still on stage and still rock harder then most touring acts. When you open your show with the boldly stated “Rock 'N Roll Star” you can't help but think Oasis is being a little cheeky. Luckily, Oasis has talent and the tunes to back up the bulk of their brazen statements.

Hits reigned all night; including “Lyla” from 2005's Don't Believe the Truth, and “The Shock of The Lightning,” lead single from Dig Out Your Soul. Vocalist Liam Gallagher displayed his trademark snarled vocals for “Cigarettes and Alcohol,” off debut disc Definitely Maybe; brother Noel got have his own chance to shine as he took up the vocals for “The Masterplan”.

I was also interested in seeing bassist Andy Bell; formerly of oft-overlook British shoegaze band Ride. Andy expertly held down the low end during a roaring rendition of “Slide Away,” while Gem Archer stole the spotlight with his blazing guitar solo. A rocket blasting off on the LCD screens behind them was symbolic as they played “Morning Glory”.

The cigarette lighter moment of the evening was during “Wonderwall”–which sounds fresh  once more, now that radio has stopped running the song into the ground. The encore would be even more sentimental as I felt like hugging everyone in the room during “Don't Look Back in Anger.” The clouds of second hand smoke may have altered my mood during “Champagne Supernova” as Liam sang, “Where were you while we were getting high?”.

A magazine would later be thrown on stage at Liam which didn't make much sense to me until the singer went to the side of the stage for a pen to autograph it and hand it back to the fan. Liam closed the evening by stating, “We've been fantastic and so have you.” Agreed.

Making the gigantic leap from the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa to the
Staples Center, opener and Huntington Beach poster boy Matt Costa still managed to
transmit his warm vibes and good tunes in a vast arena. Matt Costa played “Unfamiliar Faces” and “Mr. Pitiful” as Mitchell Townsend accompanied him on guitar. In a world filled with auto-tuned vocals, it was refreshing to see Matt perform “Will I Lie In Your Arms Again” acappella assisted by the audience with their handclaps to keep the beat. Matt barely had thirty minutes on stage, but definitely made the most of time.

The irony–or appropriateness–of Ryan Adams N The Cardinals opening for Oasis nearly escaped me until I remembered that Ryan famously covered “Wonderwall” on his EP Love Is Hell. Ryan is no one trick pony; he's known for his prolific output, recently releasing “Cardinology” in October and reportedly already working on the next album. Ryan cast a spell on the audience with “Magick” as he was standing in front of a giant Fender Princeton Reverb amplifier stage prop. “Fix It” was the highlight for me as it plays like a soundtrack to closing time at your local saloon.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias:
Manchester United is my favorite football team.

Random Detail:
The Oasis keyboard player had a Memotron keyboard which replicates the sounds of a Mellotron, used prominently by the Beatles on “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

By The Way:
You may want to road trip to Las Vegas to see Oasis play at the Pearl Theater inside the Palms this Saturday.

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