Liam Gallagher at the Masonic in San Francisco

Britpop Icons Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft Hit the States

in SF Concert Reviews by

San Francisco concertgoers were treated to a Britpop nostalgia show last night when 90s legends Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft rode into town. The cultural icons kicked off their tour in the city by the Bay before embarking on a journey that will take them to many major cities in the US then off to Europe for a string of dates.

Richard Ashcroft of the Verve playing his heart out at the Masonic in San Francisco
Richard Ashcroft of the Verve playing his heart out at the Masonic in San Francisco

Ashcroft opened the show with just his set of pipes and a classic beige Gibson acoustic guitar. Nothing more was needed for the iconic singer of Verve with the shaggy hair and dark aviators, to serenade the mostly full room of the Masonic theater. What followed was a powerful performance in a rare large yet intimate setting, one that will be hard to forget. Highlights included a touching tribute to Prince with the song “Little Red Corvette,” a tear-jerking version of “The Drugs Don’t Work,” and to close out the show, an anthemic version of their biggest hit to date, “Bittersweet Symphony.”

After a strobe-laced intro, Liam Gallagher came into light and walked slowly onto the stage wearing a loose orange parka, which seems to have become his trademark look these days. His hair was short and messy, his beard long and unkempt, signaling a different look for this British legend. He quickly kicked things off with a loud version of “Rock n Roll star,” which had the crowd bouncing up and down in unison to the drummer’s backbeat. This was one of the loudest shows I’d been to, but then again, it’s rock n roll, and as the saying goes if it’s too loud your too old.

The song list for the evening consisted mostly of Oasis songs, with a few tunes from his latest record dropped in for good measure. The two stand out tracks “For What It’s worth” and “As You Were,” hit hard and received a warm response from the fans. Few words were uttered during the set but then again he’s always been an artist that seems to speak more offstage than on.

Photos by Louis Raphael

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An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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