April 25, 2012


Predictably Awesome: 10 Highlights from Noel Gallagher’s Coachella Set

Shannon Hall
Shannon Hall

Ice cream, chocolate, pay raises, days off, kittens, puppies: They will all make you happy, all of the time. Just like Noel Gallagher. He's so predictable, but there's nothing wrong with familiarity, right? His Coachella set on Saturday was just that. Here are the 10 predictable highlights, in a predictable chronological order.

1. “Fools Gold” by the Stone Roses introduced his set. Gallagher has long said the Manchester band are one of his all-time favorites, and he’s heavily influenced by their frontman Ian Brown, too. Predictable.

 2. Gallagher strutted onstage in his usual Britpop duds—a buttoned up oxford (predictable) with gold-framed, sleeker-than-normal Ray-Ban Caravan shades (also predictable).

 3.  On “(It’s Good) To Be Free,” "Everybody's On the Run” and "Dream On,” Gallagher exercised a typical Britpop sound—all crisp guitars and tight melodies and big-chorus songwriting. Predictable. 

 4. Gallagher provided perhaps the sweetest yet driest (and most predictable) dedication: “I want to dedicate this to my beautiful wife," he said before “If I Had a Gun,” one of the best songs from his new album, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. When the reaction was peppered with boos, he flashed his signature stink eye. So Noel.

Shannon Hall
Shannon Hall

5. Throughout his set, Gallagher’s Godlike Genius award, which he won at this year's NME Awards, sat on top of his amplifier in plain sight. The statue is of a hand flipping the bird, natch. So, in essence, Gallagher was giving Coachella the finger for about an hour. So arrogant. Noel to the max.

6. The only flair on Gallagher's Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar: A vintage Adidas sticker. Remember those track suits the young Gallaghers sported during Oasis’ early days? Yep. I also hear that Noel likes their shoes.

7. On “Talk Tonight,” an older Noel-penned Oasis B-side, Gallagher gave another one of his all-time favorite bands, the Beatles, a big nod with its mournful melody and snappy songcraft. (It also sounded so much like another Beatles-esque tune, "Wonderwall," that Coachella officials falsely tweeted that he was playing the super hit, which he wasn't).

8. Gallagher's drummer, Jeremy Stacey, wore a black top hat... just like he does every time. The other members had various versions of the classic Britpop moptop, which is clearly part of the selection process for inclusion in his band.

9. Gallagher stuck to familiar ground lyrically. Like he did in Oasis, he utilized simple rhyming couplets about dreams, girls, worlds, freedom, living forever, suns and “my miiiiiinnnnnnnddddddd.” 

10. “Which Oasis song do you think he’ll play to finish?” my co-worker, Fuse photog Shannon Hall, asked me as Gallagher’s set came to a close. I answered “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” It’s his most personal, beautiful and classic of the few Noel-sung Oasis tunes, and, yep, it’s what he used to close out his set. Predictably, it was received with the biggest, loudest, most spirited sing-along I've witnessed all weekend. Blissfully predictable, just like ice cream, chocolate, pay raises, days off, kittens and puppies.