Jump to content

Oasis & Arctic Monkeys Warm Up Air Canada Centre For Coldplay


Recommended Posts

Britpop's kings and heirs rule

Headliner Oasis praises openers

Both bands put on explosive shows


Allowing for the eternal advantage enjoyed by the headliner over the opener, the Britpop heirs-apparent held their own against the reigning kings of Britpop during a thunderous display of rock 'n' roll dynamism at a sold-out Air Canada Centre on Monday night.


And, perhaps surprisingly, the kids even earned some kudos from their elders in the process.


Oasis, ever reluctant to relinquish their grasp on the crown, even when that grasp has sometimes seemed more tenuous than real, has seldom had anything but a disparaging word for upstarts — particularly serious contenders like Coldplay, who arrive for ACC sets of their own today and Thursday.


But Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys, rock's darlings du jour, even merited a testimonial from their uncharacteristically gracious hosts. "We're going to dedicate this to a breath of fresh air, the Arctic Monkeys," enthused singer Liam Gallagher before the band launched into "Rock 'n' Roll Star" from the 1994 Oasis debut, Definitely Maybe.


It could be those footsteps are a bit less audible since a revamped Oasis started touring on last year's Don't Believe the Truth, its best album since Liam and guitarist/brother Noel were still sparring in the tabs with former nemesis, Blur's Damon Albarn. Bolstered by the addition of second guitarist Gem Archer, bassist Andy Bell and drummer Zak Starkey, Oasis launched its current North American odyssey with a brilliant set last July at the Molson Amphitheatre. Eight months later, far from showing signs of weariness, the Mancunians still seem near the top of their game.


And when Oasis is on, most pretenders can only hope to approximate the band's capacity for arena-rattling rock. Sure, it doesn't hurt to have fist-pumpers like "(What's the Story) Morning Glory," "Cigarettes and Alcohol," "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova" in your arsenal. But it's a testament to the group's obvious rejuvenation that newer offerings "Turn up the Sun" and "Lyla" seldom suffer by comparison.


Nor, for that matter, did the Arctic Monkeys, who hardly seemed daunted by the prospect of setting the stage by warming up a smaller crowd of early but clearly enthusiastic arrivees.


"Be gentle. Be gentle," singer-guitarist Alex Turner pleaded impishly.


The quartet — the oldest of whom is 20 — was anything but gentle, igniting a 35-minute, 10-song set with a blistering rip through "The View from the Afternoon," the opener on its hot-selling debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.


The similarities between the bands ended with the high voltage each brought to the occasion. Unlike Oasis, whose anthemic catalogue has been built on easily digestible platitudes, the Arctic Monkeys favour detailed narratives in which anticipation is often balanced by disappointment. More like the Kinks, by way of the Jam. More, ahem, like Blur, than Oasis.


"I Bet you Look Good on the Dancefloor," for instance, vacillates between seduction and indifference, while alluding to everything from Shakespeare to Duran Duran.


Any temptation to find fault with a young band so earnestly hyped by the British press, which hardly seems capable of going a fortnight without touting some Next Big Thing, was dispelled by the quality of the songs and the economical assurance of the presentation.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...