Oasis at Target Center

We almost didn’t go to this show. The day tickets went on sale, I kept throwing them back until something good came up. When I got 12th row, I decided to jump on it. 

Matt Costa was the first opener. He delivered an acoustic set (with the help of another guitarist named Mitch) and played for about 30 minutes. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals came on right after that. It was the most efficient set change I’d ever seen. Even when you have an acoustic opener and don’t have to set up anything for the next band, it usually takes at least 20 minutes, but not this time. Tim went to get us water, and by the time he came back, they were on their second song.

Their set was fine, but it seemed to go on for a long time, partly because I wasn’t familiar with most of their work and a lot of it blended together in my mind, and partly because I was anxious to see Oasis. Also, I was hoping Ryan Adams would have one of his infamous epic meltdowns, but I think he saves that for his headlining gigs. He didn’t even speak to the audience. Other than singing, he blew loudly into his microphone once, and he let the other guitarist handle the between-song banter . If he’d gone off on Westerberg as he’d done at a recent First Avenue show, I think there would have been fisticuffs.

Toward the end of the Cardinals’ set, two obviously hammered guys stumbled into the two seats to our right. One guy kept saying “Oasis?” to Tim, who nodded in agreement that he was indeed there to see that band. The guy kept shaking his hand in affirmation. He and his friend wandered around during the break between sets, then came back and asked, “hey, have the Cardinals played yet?” Then he announced that he and his buddy were going to rush the stage and try to get kicked out at some point during the show. It was extremely entertaining.

Just before Oasis took the stage, Tim noticed one of Prince’s former hired goons roaming the aisle, and he visibly clenched at the memory of getting probed before an early-morning concert at Paisley Park. 

Liam came onstage with a tambourine in his mouth, the band kicked into “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” and we were on our way. 

We were in front of a group of chatty “woo girls,” and if I’d been there to see a more mellow headliner I would have been worried, but once Oasis started playing, they got into the show. Even if they had been talking during the set, the band drowned them out anyway. 

Despite the venue being less than half full (the entire upper level was curtained off, and there were just a handful of people in the back of the lower level), the crowd was really into the show. Two guys to my left were bouncing up and down the entire time and alternately yelling “Liam” and “Noel.” It was a visually stunning spectacle, with four large video screens showing the band. The graphics were very retro-inspired, with the band initially appearing in black and white and filmed from the sides of their faces, rather than straight on. They superimposed the group’s faces over other psychedelic graphics later in the set. 

And they definitely brought the attitude. I was highly amused by Liam standing with his hands at his sides, looking out at the audience during Noel’s guitar solos. Most people retreat to the back of the stage, but not Liam. 

Here’s a summary of an exchange a few songs in:

Noel: Hello, Minneapolis!

Crowd: Yay!

Noel: And Saint Paul!

Crowd: Boo!

Noel: You know it’s cold here, right? Ever heard of a place called California?

Crowd: Boo!

Noel: They’re walking around in shorts, and girls are walking around in bikinis. 

Crowd: Yay! No, boo! No, wait… 

The new material was good, but the crowd was in full swing during the more familiar material. Liam’s voice wasn’t as strong as it had been in the past, but the crowd lifted him up when he needed it. There were several rousing singalongs, especially during “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” “Morning Glory,” “Wonderwall,” and “Champagne Supernova.” 

Overall, it was a good time. It was very therapeutic for me to sing at the top of my lungs with several thousand other people. I wasn’t expecting such a good vibe off the crowd, and it was a pleasant surprise. And those two guys beside us changed their minds and ended up staying until the very end. 

Set list (from the Star Tribune)

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