June 22, 2005 was one of the best days my sister and I ever spent together.
Sure, the weather in New York City was rainy followed by humid and disgusting but that didn’t kill our momentum. Plus, we would’ve undoubtedly wound up spending lots of time at Virgin Records in Times Square anyway. The air conditioning was just a perk. And yes, my sister enjoys boneless wings enough to accompany me to Hooters where we were served soda and buffalo chicken by a thin but stacked blonde (picture oranges Scotch-taped to a toothbrush). After dinner, we headed to Madison Square Garden to see the mighty Oasis headline their first show there. I was beyond excited for the concert, despite having to sit through yet another mundane performance by Jet before the Gallaghers & Co took the stage. When they finally did, Liam Gallagher leaned into his mic and exclaimed “Madison Square fookin’ Garden. Been a long time but we’re finally here, man.” Thus began the 70-odd minutes of loud guitars and sing-alongs in front of a sold out crowd. Quite a day indeed.
How did we end up at Madison Square Garden that night? By taking the train from Metropark to Penn Station of course, but there’s a bit more to it.
When Oasis came on the scene in 1994, their new yet familiar sound was a welcome change to the “woe is me” sentiment of most early 90’s rock music. I enjoyed the singles from their debut, Definitely Maybe, which I copied on to cassette from my sister’s CD. When their second album came around, the “Wonderwall” video was omnipresent on MTV and VH1 during late 1995, but “Champagne Supernova” didn’t move me at the time, probably because this 13 year old had no patience for a song that lasted seven minutes. I remember the hype building up around their third album since they’d come off the massive success of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? but I don’t recall hearing any singles from that or their next few albums.
Fast forward to 2004. I’m dating a girl who owns many popular CDs from the last decade but will only play the singles for some reason. After a few rounds of only hearing “Wonderwall,” “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” and “Champagne Supernova,” I made the crazy suggestion of playing the album straight through when we were in her car one afternoon. Ten years after first hearing Oasis, the music finally hit me. I’ve always leaned heavily toward catchy rock and there was no denying the big choruses this band offered up. I hijacked my sister’s CDs for a few weeks before snagging copies of all their CDs and DVDs. Around that time, their sixth album had been announced for release in early summer 2005, led by their new single “Lyla.” Streaming internet radio, YouTube, and web rips had barely evolved at that point so the only way I could listen to this new song was through a pop-up on the band’s website.
So I listened to it.
In mid May, the CD single was released in the UK. In my usual fashion, I took the hour-long drive up to Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ to pick up an imported copy which I would continue playing to death. My sister couldn’t avoid hearing this song blaring through the house and it inspired her to revisit Oasis’ music. When the MSG show was announced, she was up for it but the tickets sold out in record time so we had to scour eBay for our seats. We scored reasonably priced tickets for Row S on the floor just outside of the center, and that is where we stood and sang along to those choruses together, and with 20,000 other fans.
Every June 22, I usually send my sister a photo of my concert ticket as a reminder of this incredible day we had. I can’t believe it was nine years ago, but I’m thankful to the fictitious woman named Lyla for helping to make it happen.