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Liam Gallagher: Knebworth 22 (Outstanding+) captures the singer, songwriter and former Oasis frontman at his two-day stand in June 2022 at the UK’s legendary open-air venue, a storied stage where he once played alongside his brother Noel and their old band. Those 1996 shows represented Oasis at their peak musically and culturally, and Liam isn’t shy about addressing that knebworth 22. The document also features a range of fan testimonials and profiles, and contextualised offers, not just about where Liam has been in the years that have followed, but what the UK is up to as a country.

opening shot: A helicopter approaches Knebworth. Unlike the legendary 1996 Oasis shows, only Liam Gallagher is on board. And he’s ready to achieve it. “As far as I’m concerned, rock and roll is done. It’s complete. You fuck with it at your own risk. I don’t want to be a fool. I don’t want to do a fusion of fucking jazz with this or that. Fuck it all. I’ll leave that to the Bellends. I just want to come on this damn stage like a caged animal. I just want to fucking save all the energy and go ahead and fucking bang it, know what I mean?”

The essentials: Gigs at Knebworth have usually gone down in history whether it was Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones or Oasis, Liam Gallagher’s former group with his brother Noel who famously played two huge nights at the massive open air venue in 1996 With all that said, and with Noel even having a row in the press over rights issues for Oasis material (on Twitter, Liam dismissed his brother as “an angry squirt”), of course, the time was right for the younger Gallagher to have two solo shows in Knebworth and performed in front of almost 200,000 fans, who each bought a ticket to see her him. Take that, Noël!

Liam Gallagher: Knebworth 22 is broken in two parts. The first section explains the background to the solo shows, with Liam announcing on Instagram that fans’ personal testimonials will be included in the document – “He just always stays true to his sound,” assures young Audrina from Great Britain in her video; “He says, ‘Jog on, mate, you’re not going to affect my life!'” — and that he’s being driven around the Knebworth compound. He says fans wanted those shows, and since Noel wouldn’t, he’s here to save the day. But there’s also a sense of reassurance here, like knebworth 22 attempts to contextualize where the UK has come politically and socially since the 1996 shows and where the country stands now post COVID and lockdown life. “People need to get out and just be with other people and have fun,” says Oasis/Liam superfan Simon.

After a slightly gentler analysis of Liam’s career as a solo artist and his journey back to the biggest stages, knebworth 22 Transitions to the performances themselves edited in one sentence for this document. And there, in numerous shots of the crowd, are the fans like Audrina and Simon, whose testimonials were featured in part one.

Liam Gallagher Knebworth 22 streaming
Photo: Redferns

What shows will it remind you of? In 2021 the release of Oasis Knebworth 1996, a documentary film that explores the era-defining two-night stand of Britpop heroes outdoors when they were at their performative peak. And back in 2019, the documentary Liam Gallagher: Like it was offered plenty of personal access to the famously irascible singer and frontman as he made his much-loved comeback as a solo artist.

Our opinion: “I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, you’re never going back to Knebworth. When it’s done, it’s done.” Well I do, you damn motherfuckers, you know what I mean? And half the people who say that should never have done it anyway.” One thing Liam Gallagher: Knebworth 22 makes it abundantly clear that the singer, songwriter, and former Oasis frontman hasn’t lost his knack for hilariously bitter pull quotes. But again, there’s at least some mitigation here, an honest perspective not only on the Oasis narrative in full but also where it all left him as a solo artist and what he still means to fans. Like the guy who built the Gallagher brothers a cozy backyard pub/shrine, or the little girl whose enjoyment of Liam Gallagher’s music helped her overcome a life-threatening illness. “This isn’t my moment,” Liam says now of his music and playing the Knebworth shows. “This is the moment for the fans. I’m just here to entertain them.” Growth. Maturity. But if 1996’s Liam G. heard that bit of humility, maybe he’d eat his bucket hat for breakfast.

But beyond perspective knebworth 22 Offers, it’s still the music that counts. Gallagher’s voice is strong, his maracas and tambos are in tow, and he shows off his clown gangs and laid-back singing attitude on stage. His band rips with solo material like “Wall of Glass” and the Primal Scream-esque thump of “Everything’s Electric” and, when it counts, performances of Oasis classics like “Hello,” “Stand by Me,” “Cigarettes & Alcohol, Supersonic and Champagne Supernova – the latter as a closing encore with guest John Squire of the Stone Roses, who guest-starred on the same song in 1996 – is made possible by Liam and his band.

gender and skin: Nothing here.

Farewell picture: “It’s a big damn thing to see all these people, and the damn faces of everyone, the joy that it brings, and the tears and things like that, all the happiness, the word ‘biblical’ doesn’t do it fair.” And in one of the last recordings of knebworth 22Liam Gallagher tosses his tambourine to his biggest Next Gen fan.

sleeping star: Once Liam Gallagher’s Knebworth performance transitions into his encore section, which includes a slew of Oasis classics like “Some Might Say,” “Cigarettes & Alcohol,” and “Wonderwall,” the level of raucous audience delight reached hundreds of thousands of fans isn’t only tangible, but transporting. It makes you want to go to a loud rock show.

Most pilot line: Liam Gallagher has never been afraid to share his particular philosophies about life and music fame. Here he is, describing his headspace in the immediate run-up to the two-night stand at Knebworth. “I mean, I can be an arrogant cunt if I want to, but I’m not stupid. Some days I might look like it, but I’m not. No, I didn’t think I would ever do that again. I did not think [Oasis] would ever do fucking arenas again. So I just try to avoid every cunt. “Oh, you look good.” Fuck off. “Oh, you’re wearing that-” out. Even me kids ask me, ‘How are you?’ You know how the fuck it goes. Laugh? I don’t think a boxer wants a massage, they just want to go in there and rip their fucking opponent’s head off. So just try to dodge the comedians before moving on. And when you come off the stage on the second night, it’s like, alright, you smartass, you want to know what’s going on? Look at this shit.”

Our appeal: Stream it. Oasis and Liam Gallagher fans have plenty of perspectives to glean here, and much of it from a veteran rock star who never really cared. but knebworth 22 more than delivers even as a straightforward concert film.

Johnny Loftus is an independent writer and editor living at large in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @Glenganges

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