Manchester, England's Oasis and New York's Ryan Adams & the Cardinals both focused on workmanlike songcraft as they opened the United States stretch of their joint world tour last night in Oakland, California. Although both bands are known for the verbal swagger of their respective leaders, Oasis and the Cardinals both kept the emphasis firmly on their music: Adams barely spoke a word, while guitarist Noel Gallagher's most pointed comment came when a nearby fan passed out during through a grinding "Slide Away." "Did somebody get overwhelmed?" he quipped. "I'm sorry about that. Buy a T-shirt on the way out, please."
The Britpop icons remained typically immobile bellow four massive video panels that mixed live projections with canned Pop Art imagery. Liam Gallagher clenched a tambourine in his teeth as the band opened with "Rock N Roll Star," then held it behind his back in a defiant stance maintained throughout the night. Although his contemplative "I'm Outta Time" proved Oasis hasn't run out of ways to effectively raid the Beatles' songbook, it was mid-90s hits like "Wonderwall" that generated the most sing-along enthusiasm from an otherwise strangely sedate audience. Perhaps a newly mellow Adams had chilled the crowd: The former bad boy proved himself ready to inherit Tom Petty's mantle with a set of countrified mid-tempo rock. While bassist Chris Feinstein roamed center stage, Adams humbly stood off to the side and plied ballad after ballad until his Cardinals finally let loose an anxious and succinct "Magick." And then they flew away.
Set List: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
"Crossed Out Name"
"When the Stars Go Blue"
"Let It Ride"
"Come Pick Me Up"
"I Taught Myself How to Grow Old"
Set List: Oasis
"Rock N Roll Star"
"The Shock Of The Lightning"
"Cigarettes And Alcohol"
"The Meaning Of Soul"
"To Be Where There's Life"
"Waiting For The Rapture"
"Ain't Got Nothing"
"The Importance Of Being Idle"
"I'm Outta Time"
"Don't Look Back In Anger"
"I Am The Walrus"
• Noel Gallagher Previews Oasis Tour, Talks Drugs, Ryan Adams and His Own Brilliance
• Liam Gallagher on the Beatles and the Death of the Rock Star
• Ryan Adams Explains His Influences
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