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CD Reviews:  Oasis: Familiar to Millions (Live)

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During last summer's hugely successful world tour, Oasis played two sold out shows at England's Wembley Stadium. The recorded result, Familiar to Millions, stands as the band's first live compilation and a magnificent two-CD set of their finest material over an eight-year career. The highly publicized and often bitter feuds between the co-founding brothers, Liam and Noel Gallagher, actually take a backseat this evening to a flawless set of cosmic melodies and scorching guitar rock.

The first disc, like many tours, focuses on the current material that Oasis was supporting at the time (2000's Standing on the Shoulder of Giants). "Fxxxin' in the Bushes" gives popular way to last year's hit single "Go Let it Out," and eventually a rollicking version of 1994's "Supersonic." The band is tight and the sound production is remarkable considering the size of the venue. Noel's signature guitar work is almost as polished as anything he's done in the studio, and Liam is not to be outdone! In an attempt to excite (and even incite) the capacity crowd during a blistering rendition of "Roll With It," Liam taunts, "Okay, you finally got it right!"

Disc two unfolds like a greatest hits collection with the shrieking Manchester audience nearly carrying the band word for word through "Wonderwall," "Don't Look Back in Anger," and "Live Forever." Anyone close to Oasis's career has come to expect the between-song bantering from the brothers Gallagher, as well as several f-bombs being dropped during their live tirades. This night is no different, although most of the barely audible bickering does little to detract the listener from a splendid set of music, compliments of Britain's finest rock and roll band in their prime! A pair of glorious covers from Neil Young ("Hey Hey, My My") and The Beatles ("Helter Skelter") round out this stunning release, and solidify Familiar to Millions among the best live records of the past several years.

~Red Rocker

Other Oasis reviews:
Heathen Chemistry (2002)
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