To ape the phrasing of Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, the first half was even, the second half was even louder. The guitar was loud, the voice was even louder; the tent shuddering like the Hadron Collider with a rogue spanner thrown in.
Nestled in the shadow of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where he blew Corkonians away back in 1996 as part of Oasis, you could hardly say Gallagher has mellowed with age.
This was live music at its most awe-inspiring, gruesome best. Musically, the songs from new album Chasing Yesterday are built for live performance: ‘In The Heat of The Moment,’ new single ‘Lock All The Doors’ and the thunderstorm that is ‘The Mexican.’
‘Riverman’ is simply a piece of timeless good songwriting, a forlorn rain-soaked man adrift on a wet night, with only the warm blanket of an incredible tune for comfort.
Interviewing Gallagher backstage before the show, he told me it was the tale of “a guy who has had a fight with his missus; it rains a lot in Manchester, that’s all I’m saying”.
Well, whatever he has done wrong, he wants back in. The song itself? Is masterpiece too strong? Too early, definitely maybe. Even live, people connect with this rich lyric. And they connect with Gallagher and his magnificent band.
And, of course, along with the big voice and big songs, Gallagher has a big personality. Not your classic showbiz personality, rather a gritty character with whom everyone somehow feels a natural connection.
He doesn’t play too many Oasis hits, but ‘Fade Away,’ ‘The Masterplan,’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and a few more are enough to send us home happy. ‘Champagne Supernova’ was the highlight. All that we’re left with this morning is the buzz in our ears and our hearts, and the mental image of the tent coming down.