Recap: Liam Gallagher & Richard Ashcroft, The Masonic SF

Real rock stars are hard to come by these days. Getting two of them onstage in one night is even more rare.

Maybe that’s why The Masonic was packed for these two legendary headliners even on a weeknight. Richard Ashcroft started off the night tearing through Verve hits like a one man army. At one point he kissed his Gibson guitar and lamented the famed guitar manufacturer recent bankruptcy filing. With just this one instrument he managed to make every song sound dense and orchestrated.

From scorching guitar to tender vocals he wrenched every ounce of emotion from each song from crowd favorite “The Drugs Don’t Work” to “Sonnet.” What really threw everyone for a loop was his soulful cover of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.” While stylistically far apart from Prince, Ashcroft shares much with the Purple one.  He even brought up his perceived exile from the music industry. Ashcroft has long held forth that he wasn’t wanted due to his rebellious nature. Even now he defies expectations and continues to do things his own way. With an album due in the fall, it will be interesting where he goes next.

How do you top an hour of that? Simple, you bring out one of the biggest rock stars on the planet who savagely tears through his back catalog like a newcomer trying to impress a talent scout in the audience. Liam Gallagher has been holed up in Los Angeles working on an unexpectedly quick follow up to last year’s As You Were. The recent studio time worked to his advantage as his backing band was even tighter than his recent appearance at the Masonic late last year.

It’s hard to avoid the word swagger when talking about Liam but who else can saunter around a stage like that and not come off as a poser? No one else can look like they are completely pissed off and having fun at the same time.  While new material held it’s own, the Oasis songs got the biggest response of the night to the surprise of no one. Manchester United  scarves were thrown around, drunken men danced with each other and girls screamed at Liam’s every move.  Quite simply nothing has changed two decades on from the Gallagher brothers first attempt at world domination. Some things never change.

Check out the highlights below: 

photo by: David Iskra