Across the Narrows concert
Kasabian rocks out
A few weeks ago, me and me bud, Matt "K" went to see day 2 of "Across the Narrows", 1 of 4 concerts spread over the weekend between 2 minor league ballparks. How could I pass up a great all-day festival-style concert in the hometown? Well, I couldn't and didn't. Oasis was headlining and I've never seen them live, so I was looking forward to it. Given their reputation, I was expecting either a great or terrible performance with no in-between.
The weather was picture perfect (if it had been this past weekend it would've sucked as it poured throughout). We arrived while the first band, the Redwalls were on. They sounded pretty decent from outside the stadium, but we were in no rush to go in yet since we wanted to walk around a bit and Matt had never seen the S.I. 9-11 memorial which is close by. We went inside for Jesse Malin's set. I had never heard him before and was surprised that he was kind of alt-country. His tunes were decent enough but he's no Wilco or Ryan Adams. He went on a bit of a tirade possibly pissed at the heat and the sun direct in his face during his set. He also cried foul about the $9 toll to get on to Staten Island - my guess is he probably drove himself in from Manhattan and didn't have EZ-Pass.
I was disappointed by the Lemonheads. The slacker thing doesn't play too well in 2005 and they had the worst sound mix of any of the bands. I was a pretty big fan back in the day, but live, they sorely miss Juliana Hatfield's background vocals which always provided a great counterpoint to Evan Dando.
It used to really bother me when bands play to pre-recorded tracks (esp. since as a drummer, I don't think I could keep such robotic time to a track) but these days, when done right, I appreciate the sonic qualities it gives bands like Doves and Kasabian. These are two bands I knew primarily on buzz and I dug both of them. I liked how each band traded vocalists - always cool to hear alternate voices in one band.
I was struck during many of the bands at how influential Oasis has become after all these years. Of course when they came out they wore their influences on their sleeves. Now bands like Kasabian and Doves show the trickle down effect of the brothers Gallagher.
I dug "Jet's" energy, but their singer likes to scream a lot. And their ripped off riffs annoyed me after a bit. One bright spot was their drummer who bashed away at a 3 piece set with only 2 cymbals - proof that less can be more.
Well, in the end, surprise, surprise, Oasis didn't suck and weren't "awesome" the truth as often is the case was a shade of gray. It's cool that they are back to playing "Wonderwall" (bugs me when a band denies the fans the song that gave them gold plated diapers - hear that Thom Yorke?!). The hits sounded great and Liam's nasally vocals found their groove a few songs in. He's still king of the bratty asshole stage presence and it doesn't piss me off now - I get a kick out of it.
They didn't play an encore - who could blame them - the paltry crowd was pretty spent by then and didn't give them reason to.
I enjoyed the day and am glad the promoters are saying they will do it again - lessons learned and all. Overall, I'm disappointed in my fellow Staten Islanders who didn't really support it all that much. It prompted me to create a cartoon and submit it to the local paper which passed on it - but here it is for you to enjoy.