Friday, April 3, 2009

The Weekend

As many weeks gone by in Korea have shown - the days can be long, but the weeks go by quickly. This week went by particularly fast for me: Monday was busy and tiring, Tuesday was a day of no teaching for me as all of the students were involved in test-writing, Wednesday was half a day of teaching and half a day of seminars at the Seoul Educational Training Centre, Thursday was a a day of three classes instead of the usual 4, and today (Friday) was, well... Friday.

What made this week particularly memorable though was the Oasis concert on Wednesday night. It was great. I've been to some pretty great concerts in my time and this one ranks among the best. Oasis is about 70% music and 30% attitude for me. It's good to know that the Gallagher brothers still know how to bring a house down.

The only song I wanted to but didn't get to hear was "Don't Go Away" from Be Here Now. It's okay - the rest of the concert more than made up for it. Here's the set list for anyone who cares...

F%$#in' in the Bushes
Rock ‘N’ Roll Star
The Shock of the Lightning
Cigarettes & Alcohol
The Meaning of Soul
To Be Where There’s Life
Waiting for the Rapture
The Masterplan
Slide Away
Morning Glory
Ain’t Got Nothin
The Import!ance of Being Idle
I’m Outta Time
Live Forever [acoustic with Noel on vocals]
Don’t Look Back in Anger
Falling Down
Champagne Supernova
I Am The Walrus

Truth is, Oasis' canon has never really been a mainstay on my ipod. Leading up to the concert I decided to change that. As far as arena rock goes, Oasis pretty much owns it. There are few things as rock star as Liam Gallagher leaning up to the mic and then walking away from the stand, kicking his feet like he's trying to shake something from the bottom of his boots. He's a notoriously prickly personality to deal with. I recently saw a clip of Carson Dailey on MTV Total Request Live from 1999, asking Liam how he was feeling today. "God-like" was the response.

"How are you liking New York," Daily continued.

"Oh, it's all right," Liam answered, looking out the window into Times Square. "I wanted to come here and pay my respects before they blow you up and that..."

That was 1999. Oasis' fame has kind of lagged away from the UK over the last decade or so. If you had seen them live lately though, you would really wonder how such a thing is possible. I remember being at a Big Wreck concert - opening for the Watchmen back in the day. Big Wreck's lead singer Ian Thornley was a giant egotist, but it worked for him. That's just what certain rock bands sell, and some don't fail. Gallagher is certainly of the same ilk in many regards.

It doesn't hurt that Oasis has written some of the best rock pop songs of the last two decades. Who doesn't love "Wonderwall"? Sometimes one has to stop painting with an elitist critical brush and just enjoy the music for what it is. Oasis may not be music to settle into, but I've learned that it can be great music to hear played by a local at high tide on a beach in Thailand ("Don't Look Back in Anger") as well as to rev-up a Flames home game ("Shock of the Lightning"). It is of course best to hear live by the people who wrote it.

Yes, what I was told would be front row seats ended-up being front row of our level - not the closest to the stage. We were all a bit confused, but once the concert began, nobody cared.

Thanks for the tickets, Johnny - good times "fo sho".

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