Night one of Liam Gallagher at Co-op Live proved why Oasis are still the best thing since sliced bread

'Let's put this arena on the f***ing map' — and then some...

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 16th June 2024

That’s just about as good as it gets for a Manc; not to go over the top right from the off but Liam Gallagher’s first night at the Co-op Live arena is comfortably up there with one of the best gigs we’ve ever been to.

We could end the review right there and we’re sure you’d understand (we don’t think it needs explaining why seeing Definitely Maybe played live in full to a home crowd all these years later is so special) but we’re going to carry on anyway.

We also could spend time bigging up the supports and how great they were, which is entirely true – there’s also a lot of understandable excitement about Liam’s son Gene Gallagher and the opening warm-up act, Villanelle – but, honestly, we just want to relive last night.

It’s not hard to see why…

First things first, it’s probably fair to start off by saying that regardless of the palava when it first opened or rather struggled to, Co-op Live is quite a sight to behold.


There are plenty of people who have taken aim at the ‘big black box’ now sitting right next to Manchester City’s stadium and the wider Etihad Campus, but once you see it in the evening, lit up with its digital hoardings and especially in the bowl itself, it’s pretty impressive, it has to be said.

Obviously, the location felt fitting for such a massive Blue and LG made sure to have his beloved football club represented on stage, however, it more just highlighted how this man could fill a room of pretty much any size.


As we waited for his arrival whilst the roadies rolled back the years (quite literally) and recreated the Definitely Maybe album cover for the set, you couldn’t help but be blown away by the scale of everything as roughly 23,5000 people poured in to celebrate Oasis‘ timeless debut album 30 years on.

And that’s what it was: a pure celebration. From the moment he kicked the arena into gear with ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’, the place barely stopped bouncing except for the likes of ‘Whatever’ and ‘Half The World Away’, as they were too busy being a choir in those moments.

He even dedicated the latter to its original singer and his big brother Noel, as well as tackling the likes of ‘D’Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?’ and ‘Lock All The Doors’, which the older Gallagher already dug out of the archives with High Flying Birds – though it was interesting to see how the two versions differed.


We will always be envious of those who were there at the very start; for the likes of the Knebworth and Maine Road gigs, as we can only imagine how nuts the atmosphere must have been at the very height of Britpop, but if this is the closest we ever come to recreating that we will absolutely take it.

Getting to hear those “cheeky” B-sides from that seminal record was a treat too, mainly because as was often the case with Oasis, they were just as popular as the official tracklist and not a single lyric was missed. Manchester hasn’t even come to moving past its best-ever band and probably never will.

What made this gig even more staggering is that we’d just seen Foo Fighters light up the Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday and knew they were playing again at the same time we were all doing our best ‘sunshyiiiiiine’, but there wasn’t a single part of us wondering which was the better gig. Sorry, Dave.

Is the local bias taking a good chunk of the wheel here? Absolutely. Do we care one bit? Not even a little.

We’ve seen Liam play his own stuff and some old favourites before; we’ve seen Noel fill Wythenshawe Park and play as many Oasis tracks as he likes, but nothing comes close to seeing the album that started it all being played in Manchester at its newest and biggest venue.


Liam said that he wanted to “put this arena on the map” before he kicked into ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’ and he didn’t just do that, he blew the roof off the place. And that’s an expensive bloody roof…

Read more:

What’s more, the 51-year-old proved two things: this is exactly why he’s one of the greatest frontmen of all time, even if his voice isn’t quite as crisp as it once was (it’s still one of the most distinct on the planet), and that Oasis are still the best thing since sliced bread. The bee’s knees. The absolute b*****ks.

We’re not going to start arguing over where they fit among the greatest of all time – we know even Liam Gallagher himself would say, ‘Don’t talk daft, it’s The Beatles’ and so on – but we’re not sure we’ll ever be able to describe just how much Oasis are intrinsically part of what makes Manchester what it is.

Banging on about a reunion year after year feels pretty useless as we know it would take some extraordinary circumstances for it to happen, but all we’ll say is that at this point Noel is just missing out on playing some of the best shows you could ever hope for.

That being said, watching Liam Gallagher give Co-op Live its biggest gig yet was a privilege and until they both kiss and makeup to give the fans what they want, we’re here for these nostalgic nights and you best believe we’ll be going to the (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? anniversary tour if it happens too.


For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — The Manc Group