Liam Gallagher’s Biblical Live Return at Free NHS Concert

by Johanna Roelich

And what a return it was!

Last week saw the return of live music for Mancunian legend Liam Gallagher, as he hosted a gig to remember, the talk of the summer to say the least; the NHS celebratory concert to thank workers for their dedication and efforts over the last 18 months. With a mix of swagger and gratitude, the former Oasis rockstar served up a rapturously received evening of songs, both old and new, solo and Oasis classics, at the infamous o2 Arena. It even saw the Liam perform perform ‘Go Let It Out’ for the first time since 2002! It really was a spectacular night, one we were lucky to witness with our own eyes.

Liam Gallagher graced the arena filled with NHS workers with his cool energy and well chosen opening words; “Very sophisticated crowd we’ve got here tonight. Doctors, nurses, drug dealers. My kind of people!” From the moment he comes on stage to the sound of F*ckin’ in the Bushes there is a sense of electricity around the Arena. 

Liam Gallagher sounded the best he has in years, whether he’s roaring through his and Noel’s ‘90s classics ‘Columbia’ and ‘Morning Glory’ or vocally exposed on the sparse and tender solo cut ‘Paper Crown’. Even with Bonehead on guitar and Liam on top form, there’s no mistaking who the real stars of this show are. “I wanna thank you lot for doing what you do,” the frontman drawls at one point, before alluding to nurses’ battle for a 15 per cent pay rise. “F*cking rockstars. I hope you get your wonga!”

Anyway, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take you through the night’s events. First up, Brighton indie Rockers Black Honey opened the show, and although the Arena was still filling up at this point, the crowd’s response to the bands unique vocals mixed with electric rock melodies was refreshing. Opening with Black Honey showed us all that the night was not going to disappoint.

After a fifteen minute break to top up the beverages, Primal Scream took to the stage, which was a moment to remember! The legends came out chanting “God bless the NHS. We must fight those who want to end it.” Cue a prowl through the anti-capitalist rant ‘Kill All Hippies’ and its seethed refrain “You got the money, I got the soul.” The sense of unity is underlined when Gillespie dedicates blissed-out ‘Screamadelica’ track ‘Higher Than The Sun’ to “Liam and Bonehead” and later shouts out “the people who make it possible”, before leading a chant of “NHS! NHS! NHS!” Imagine the scenes! The crowd were fired up, ready to go for a thirty minute set of Primal Scream favourites before Liam took to the stage.

Liam has always been the kind of performer to give a crowd exactly what they want, and that night Liam graciously sandwiches the solo stuff in between the enormous, era-defining tunes that would unite an arena at the best of times. There is only one other person on the planet who could give you an encore that opens with ‘Supersonic’ and closes with ‘Live Forever’, via ‘Acquiesce’, ‘Go Let It Out’ (his first-ever solo performance of the song) and ‘Roll With It’. And who else would sing the praises of ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ to an arena full of appreciative healthcare workers?

And even after he’s left the stage for a second time and the lights come up and the audience head towards the door, he returns to the microphone: “We’re gonna do a new song. You’ll f+cking love it. It’s ‘Wonderwall’.”

Every single person in that arena belted out the lyrics to one of the greatest anthems of all time, a song about relying on one another and literally being someone’s saviour. After all this time, Liam wasn’t wrong when he told the audience: “It’s good to see your lovely faces and hear your lovely voices.” This was a life-affirming, era-defining show.

Liam Gallagher played

‘Hello’
‘Morning Glory’
‘Columbia’
‘Wall of Glass’
‘Halo’
‘Shockwave’
‘Paper Crown’
‘Why Me? Why Not’
‘Stand By Me’
‘Fade Away’
‘Greedy Soul’
‘The River’
‘Once’
‘Go Let It Out’
‘Acquiesce’
‘Supersonic’
‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’
‘Roll With It’
‘Live Forever’
‘Wonderwall’

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