Classic Rock Review

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Oasis FamiliarTo Millions DVD (2001)

familiar_to_millions_blue_dvdFrom blogcritics.org

Surprisingly, Oasis has been knocking around for over ten years now, since the release of their first album, Definitely Maybe, back in 1994. They became worldwide superstars after the release of their second album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, which reached #4 on the American Billboard charts, and also spawned two #1 singles. The band has managed to remain in the public eye, thanks to their infamous off-stage antics, involving feuds between the Gallagher brothers, as well as their much publicized drug and alcohol abuse. The band managed to stay out of the public eye for the next few years, amid rumors of a break-up, but resurfaced again in 1997, on the heals of their third album Be Here Now.

Familiar To Millions was recorded during the first night, of a two night stop, at London’s Wembley Stadium, during Oasis’ 2000 world tour, in support of their latest album, Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants. It is a wonder that the band ever completed the 2000 tour, as the Oasis train was nearly derailed by personal problems – the most obvious being Noel Gallagher’s decision to skip many of the European dates, and Liam Gallagher being dumped by his wife, actress Patsy Kensit, only a few days before the Wembley shows. Liam was a drunken mess during this performance, stumbling around the stage, tossing F-bombs at the crowd between every song, and just being his usual annoying self. It is no wonder his brother Noel has contemplated giving it all up, out of frustration with his brother. I may be way off here, since I don’t closely follow the Oasis soap opera, but from what little I’ve seen, this guy Liam comes across as one of the most pretentious, egotistical, assholes I have ever seen. “Sir, I have met John Lennon, and you sir, are no John Lennon!”. Do these guys really think they are the next coming of The Beatles? Have another lager there Liam.

As little regard I have for these egomaniacal, imbeciles (Noel may not fall into that category), I have enjoyed a lot of their music. Oasis definitely-maybe had tons of potential until they practically imploded due to Liam’s hooliganism. Definitely Maybe certainly had a couple of good songs, and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? is outstanding. These Gallagher brothers certainly know how to write some interesting melodies and very catchy hooks, but it looks like they might have shot their entire load already, considering the rather weak material they have put out since. I did love the hell out of that song “You Know What I Mean” though. I played that thing every night on the jukebox, back in ’97, when as I was throwing darts at my favourite Spanish pub. Too bad the rest of the album, Be Here Now, was so terrible.

This spectacular looking Wembley stadium concert begins with “F***in’ in the Bushes” blaring over the PA system as the band takes the stage. It was still light out through the first half of the concert, so you did not really get the full magnitude of their stage show just yet. The band launches into “Go Let It Out”, to get things started and wisely stick to songs mostly from their first two albums for the rest of the show. Liam is obviously a drunken, mess during this show, and he barely manages to slur and stumble his was through a half-assed performance. His between song banter with the audience consists primarily of “fookin” this, and “fookin” that – you know, the usual charming small talk. Who knows, he could have been giving some brilliant anti-war speech, or providing the formula for the cure for cancer, but you would never have known, because it sure is hell wasn’t English this bloke was speaking. Holy shit, them Gallagher boys have one thick accent. And I even spent three years in the Scotland! Talk about your unintelligible accents.

Anyways, the overall performance was a huge disappointment for me. Liam’s vocals were horrendous sounding throughout most of the concert, and he looked like he didn’t even want to be up there. He’s got this “I’m so cool” style of leaning into the microphone with his hands held behind his back, the whole time he sings. Noel made a valiant attempt to keep things from falling apart, and put on a good show for the 70,000 rabid fans in attendance, but his annoyance with his brother seemed overwhelming at times. There were a few notably good performances, that even weak vocals couldn’t ruin. “Hey Hey My My”, featured Noel handling the lead vocals on this Neil Young classic, and was played back to back with “Champaign Supernova”, their psychedelic, powerhouse anthem, which featured some of Noel’s tastiest guitar work. Too bad this was all at the end of the concert.

To make matters worse, the Dolby 5.0 surround audio track sounded absolutely terrible. The volume level was extremely low, there was virtually no instrument separation, and everything was drenched in tons of echo and reverb. It literally sounded as if you were listening to the concert from the stadium parking lot. Using the PCM stereo option provided a slight improvement in the overall sound, but then you totally lost any type of stadium concert vibe, which ruined it. The video quality was decent, but the picture was not very sharp. The Oasis stage show was mammoth, and provided a very exciting and magnificent looking experience for those in attendance. This was captured brilliantly by the camera crew using wide-angle shots from above the stadium, and swooping down in front of the stage. The camera angle changes came way too quick though, as the director tried too hard to capture everything that was going on in the stadium, at the same time. The director often used various blurry, colourful, psychedelic effects, during many of the songs, which were handled well enough as not to be too distracting. Those who were tripping on acid probably didn’t appreciate it too much though.

I haven’t yet witnessed the other DVD’s that Oasis have released, and after this, I don’t know if I want to. Hopefully for all of the die-hard Oasis fans out there, they are better than this “fookin” dog.

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April 16, 2013 - Posted by | Oasis Familiar To Millions DVD | ,

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